EAU CLAIRE — The American Phoenix worker who died last week had been caught in a piece of industrial machinery, according to a police report.
Clayton J. Park, 30, of Eau Claire, died over the weekend at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire due to an injury sustained in a workplace accident, based on the report from the Eau Claire Police Department.
A 911 call made at about 3:48 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 15 alerted emergency responders that a worker had become trapped in machinery at the rubber-mixing plant.
Police officers were the first to enter the factory at 800 Wisconsin St., and were directed to to the site of the accident by employees.
Coworkers were puling an unresponsive Park from the machinery when a police officer arrived to give first aid. Though the officer saw no bleeding, Park was not breathing and did not have a pulse. Police officers and firefighters then took turns administering CPR until they were able to detect a pulse from Park. The injured man was transported by ambulance to Mayo Clinic Health System.
The Eau Claire County Medical Examiner called police on Sunday afternoon to inform them that Park had died at the hospital. He had no drugs or alcohol in his system. He appeared to have died from an anoxic injury caused by being crushed by the machinery in the incident, according to the report.
Due to the relatively secluded location of machinery that Park worked on, police noted he may have been working alone and out of others’ sight when the incident happened. Coworkers told officers that Park may have been trapped in the machinery for five to 15 minutes before they found him and got him out of it. According to those who found Park, his neck had gotten trapped in the equipment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an investigation into the workplace fatality, according to Rhonda Burke, deputy director of public affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Chicago office.
The company followed laws that require it to notify OSHA of a severe worker injury resulting in hospitalization and then when the worker died, Burke stated.
OSHA has six months to complete its investigation into the workplace fatality. Until the investigation is finished, the agency will not release additional information.
American Phoenix is located in Banbury Place, a former Uniroyal Tire Plant that was repurposed for a variety of business and residential uses. American Phoenix mixes rubber that is then used by other companies to produce tires.