An investigation is underway of an Amazon worker’s tragic death at the retail giant’s Plainfield, Indiana, fulfillment center Sunday, Sept. 24.
Early reports of the accident published over the weekend described it as a “forklift accident,” but few details were given. On Tuesday, the Hendricks County coroner issued an update saying that the worker, 59-year-old Phillip L. Terry, sustained multiple crushing injuries in the accident.
“The most significant injuries were to his head and his torso, including multiple skull fractures and injuries to his brain,” Fox 59 Indianapolis reported, citing the coroner’s office.
Toxicology tests and other lab work won’t be available until late next month. The investigation into the manner and cause of death will also take about four to five weeks to wrap up.
Reports say the workplace accident happened at the Amazon facility on Perry Road in Plainfield around 2:45 p.m.
Because the accident resulted in a worker’s death, officials with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will investigate. The probe will likely include a thorough inspection of the Amazon facility and its safety policies and procedures.
According to OSHA data, caught-in/crushed-by injuries are one of the top causes of workplace deaths in the U.S. These workplace fatalities occur across a spectrum of industries and are more prevalent wherever heavy machinery is involved.
Occupational crushing injuries occur when a person is pinned between two objects, one or both of which may be moving, and injured or killed either by physical crushing or suffocation that results from the compression of the rib cage, according to OSHA.