A Devastating Tragedy at Pellerin Milnor
Police in Kenner, LA, responded on Thursday afternoon, June 23, to reports of an accident involving a machine operator at Pellerin Milnor Corp.
The victim, 58-year-old “master operator” Dat Nguyen, apparently failed to lock out or shut down an Okuma Macturn 550-W multi-spindle lathe he was working on in the commercial laundry equipment plant before attempting to service it. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a police news release.
While an investigation is continuing, Jim Pellerin, president of the company, described Nguyen as a seasoned, experienced operator, who had worked on the machine for several years. However, for reasons unknown, on June 23, it appears that he failed to take the precautions necessary to protect himself from harm while working on the equipment.
Equipment checks showed that the machine’s safety systems were working, but apparently were not deployed in this case. “As a master operator with years of experience with this machine, we just don’t know why he would have gone into the machine without employing the emergency stop—at the very minimum,” Pellerin said. “The emergency stop is the initial safety step prior to our mandatory lockout tagout procedures.”
In addition to the police investigation, Pellerin will conduct companywide meetings with groups of employees to reiterate existing safety protocols and procedures and to ensure that the company’s safety rules are strictly followed by all employees all of the time.
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