OSHA investigating industrial accident at Rex Forge in Southington

OSHA investigating industrial accident at Rex Forge in Southington

SOUTHINGTON — A worker at Rex Forge was seriously injured Wednesday, the latest industrial accident for the Plantsville company.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating after a man suffered serious head injuries in the accident at Rex Forge Wednesday afternoon.

Terry McEvily, acting area director for the OSHA Hartford office, said an inspector responded to the factory, 335 Atwater St., on Thursday morning. Police said a 39-year-old man was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury by ambulance and airlifted to St. Francis Hospital in Hartford Wednesday evening.

Since 2010, OSHA has opened six cases against Rex Forge. The company paid $1,600 in fines in 2015, $67,000 in 2013 and $13,000 in 2010 for violations.

Other accidents at the factory include fires in 2012 and 2014 as well as a spill that dumped oil into the Quinnipiac River.

Jim Lally, spokesman for OSHA, said the administration opened a six-month investigation into the recent accident.

“They have six months to finish the inspections,” he said. “A lot of times they do take the full six months.”

A man who picked up the phone at Rex Forge Thursday said he had no comment at this time. He didn’t identify himself.

Fire crews responded to Rex Forge about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. A Life Star helicopter was initially called to respond but wasn’t available when the man was ready to transport, according to Fire Battalion Chief Glenn Dube. Firefighters sent the man by ambulance rather than wait for an available helicopter.

Dube described the injury as a serious head laceration but said he couldn’t comment on details of the incident.

Rex Forge is a manufacturer of closed die hot metal forgings, and has been in continuous operation since it was founded in 1867, according to the company’s website.

Historically, the company, which has a 200,000-square-foot facility on 15 acres in Southington, has focused on customers in the heavy truck, off-highway vehicle, light truck and automotive, fluid control and ordnance industries.

The company has 11 mechanical forging presses ranging from 1,600 to 4,000 tons, its website notes.

Twitter: @JBuchananRJ


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