KINGMAN, Kan. (KSNW) — Federal investigators say the death of a man at a Kingman company last year was because duct tape was preventing safety measures from working.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the incident happened on Aug. 4, 2022, at Great Lakes Polymer Technologies LLC, which operates as Fabpro Polymers. Investigators say the worker suffered fatal injuries when he became entangled in a rotating part inside a bagging machine while trying to clear a jam.

The OSHA investigators say they found that duct tape over the safety interlock prevented the machine from shutting down. As a result, the victim was caught by the machine and pulled into its rotating bars.

OSHA says the company’s failure to ensure safety procedures were followed contributed to the death. OSHA is proposing penalties of $292,421 and cited the company for two grouped willful violations, one repeat violation, and seven serious violations for the following conditions:

  • The absence of adequate machine guarding.
  • Not using lockout/tagout procedures to stop machines from operating during servicing and maintenance.
  • Not training workers on lockout/tagout procedures.
  • Exposing workers to slip and fall hazards from plastic particles and hydraulic fluid that leaked onto floors.

A spokesperson for Fabpro says the company disagrees with the citations and will continue discussions with OSHA. Paul Flake sent KSN News this statement from the company:

Our hearts continue to go out to the family and friends of our former colleague.

“Our investigation into this accident is ongoing and Fabpro has and will continue to cooperate
with OSHA and any other government agencies during their review of the incident.

“Fabpro disagrees with the citations recently issued by OSHA and will continue discussions
with OSHA to resolve the citations. The company will contest allegations of wrongdoing
through the appropriate legal process.

“Fabpro Polymers remains committed to keeping our employees and facilities safe. We care
about the health and safety of all of our employees, contractors and everyone that visits our

Fabpro Polymers

According to OSHA, it cited the company in 2019 for similar violations.

The company produces plastic fibers for use in cement and other construction products.

“Proper machine safety procedures and training could have prevented this worker from losing his life,” OSHA Area Director Todd Underwood said in a news release. “The manufacturing industry knows well that moving machine parts can be deadly, especially when proper guards are not used, and safety procedures are ignored.”

OSHA says the company must respond by Feb. 16. Fabpro Polymers can comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.