State Investigating Carteret Co. Veneer Plant Accident After WNCT Inquiry - WNCT

State Investigating Carteret Co. Veneer Plant Accident After WNCT Inquiry

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By Philip Jones/Eyewitness News 9

The North Carolina Department of Labor is investigating a company here in the east after a worker suffered serious injuries on the job.


The incident happened at Atlantic Veneer Corporation in Beaufort on Tuesday night.


A 46-year-old man’s right leg was tangled in a conveyor belt for more than an hour and a half.


The man -- who was flown from the scene to PCMH -- lost that leg, and is looking at a lengthy recovery.


It's not the first time in recent memory that emergency workers have responded to Atlantic Veneer.


That raised some red flags with us, so we decided to dig in to the company's safety record.


US Department of Labor records show Atlantic Veneer has been cited with at least 10 safety violations over the last five years -- several of them classified as serious, one of them a repeat.


Some of the violations were dropped on appeal -- but the company still faces thousands of dollars in fines.


To be fair, a spokesman for the state labor department says Atlantic Veneer's violations are commonly seen in industrial settings -- and though no one from the plant would talk with us on camera, the company's business manager says it has “an active safety plan.”


That plan will be reviewed as part of the state's investigation into this latest incident, though -- an investigation spurred on by our questions.


“When we find out about serious accidents through the media, we can open an investigation based on that information,” said NC labor department spokesman Neal O’Briant.


The state labor department says its investigation began Wednesday -- the day after this most recent incident -- and should last several weeks.


We'll keep you posted on the findings.

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