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Employee killed in accident at Tenn. recycler

Keywords: Tags  tennessee aluminum processors, tap, mount pleasant, shredder death, OSHA, daniel fitzgerald

NEW YORK — A shredding machine at Tennessee Aluminum Processors Inc.’s (TAP’s) Mount Pleasant, Tenn., headquarters was shut down after a worker died in an accident there Thursday.

Mount Pleasant police chief Tommy Goetz told AMM that the worker is believed to have been loading material into the shredder with the use of a machine when he stepped onto the hopper to free a piece of jammed metal. It is unknown if he fell into the machine or became caught.

The accident is believed to have taken place around 12:30 a.m. Thursday. Emergency services were contacted by TAP employees, after which the worker was pronounced dead at the scene.

Output was halted at the site for "several hours," but resumed later Thursday morning, a TAP spokesman said.

The shredder involved was expected to be back online later that day.

TAP doesn’t believe it breached any safeguards, the spokesman added.

An investigation of the incident has commenced, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) told AMM, noting that its officers visited the facility Thursday. The agency added that a planned inspection was carried out at TAP in September 2011, with no citations or penalties being issued.

Local police will work with OSHA officers until a medical examiner’s report on the death is finalized, after which an appropriate course of investigation will be determined, Goetz said.

TAP is a toll converter of aluminum scrap and drosses. It operates secondary aluminum smelters that melt aluminum scrap—such as that used in beverage cans, old and new sheet products, litho sheet, aluminum foil, automotive castings, chips and turnings, and other types of aluminum–into a remelt secondary ingot (RSI).

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