A man was crushed to death in what police called an industrial accident at a recycling plant Monday morning in Winter Garden.
It happened shortly before 9 a.m. at Robert Wallick Associates, on Susan B. Britt Court, northwest of the State Road 429 interchange at Plant Street.
The man, an employee at the company, was identified as 33-year-old David Rossman.
The company compacts and wraps recyclable materials and sends them off to other companies. Winter Garden police said the man got caught in a bailer, a machine that compacts and binds cardboard boxes for shipping.
“This person was actually responsible for running the machine and clearing out any debris that may get jammed in it,” Winter Garden Police Lt. Scott Allen said.
Police said other employees were looking for the victim at his workstation. They did not immediately find him, but noticed a ladder leading to an open door in the 15-foot-tall bailer. The victim's body was discovered inside the machine.
Police said Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators were looking into whether the bailer had to be off while someone was going inside the machine.
"Contact has been made with the company that manufactures the machine. There are systems in place for that machine to shut down if certain things happen," said Lt. Allen. "Because of where we are at this time, we are not able to be sure if all those systems are functioning correctly right now."
Employees at Robert Wallick had no comment on the incident. OSHA has never performed any inspections at the facility before. An agency fact sheet says OSHA can't inspect America's 7 milllion workplaces and priortizes its investigations to the most hazardous workplaces. OSHA is now in the initial stages of its investigation into the death.