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OSHA: Investigation still on-going

An industrial accident earlier this year that resulted in the death of McKenzie man at Chapman Forest Products remains under investigation, according to officials at OSHA.

Billy Halford, 59, was killed on Jan. 5 after being struck by a moving piece of machinery.

“I would anticipate it being finished soon,” said Kurt Petermeyer, Director of OSHA’s Mobile Area Office, which is handling the investigation. “As you can imagine when any fatality occurs on-site the accident comes under the utmost scrutiny. We take these very seriously, as we should.”

Petermeyer said the Butler County Sheriff’s Department notified his office of the fatality at approximately 4:45 p.m. the Monday of the accident. A compliance team arrived in Chapman the next day, he said.

Petermeyer said once the investigation is complete, the compliance officer’s report is examined by both his office and the regional office. Only then, he said, will the report be made public.

“Any issuance of citations are based on the final report,” he said. “We notify the next-of-kin of the findings and the employer has a chance to respond if they choose to do so.”

Halford had been employed at Chapman Forest Products since 1968, starting with Union Camp, according to family members.

He is survived by a wife, three daughters, and a son, as well as three sisters and four brothers.