Loved ones re­mem­ber in­dus­trial site worker

Dan­bury man killed af­ter being trapped in con­veyor belt

The News-Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Kendra Baker and Ka­t­rina Ko­ert­ing

NEW MIL­FORD — Loved ones of the 29-yearold Dan­bury man killed in an in­dus­trial ac­ci­dent Fri­day re­mem­bered him as one of the good guys.

Daniel Ken­drick died af­ter be­com­ing trapped in a con­veyor belt sys­tem at New Mil­ford Block & Sup­ply, where he worked as a production operator for about eight months, ac­cord­ing to his Face­book page.

“He’s a funny, nice guy,” said Shelby Pritchard, who met Ken­drick five years ago through her son’s fa­ther and Ken­drick’s cousin, Dwight Johnson. “I’m lucky to have him as a friend. Any­one is. He would have done any­thing for any­one.”

The Oc­cu­pa­tional Safety and Health Ad­min­is­tra­tion is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent and the ma­sonry com­pany has pre­vi­ously been cited for sev­eral OSHA vi­o­la­tions in 2018 and 2013, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. De­part­ment of La­bor.

Ken­drick started work­ing at the com­pany in Oc­to­ber and “loved what he did,” Pritchard said Mon­day, just a cou­ple hours be­fore a vigil she and Johnson or­ga­nized in Gay­lordsville.

Ken­drick lived in Dan­bury at the time of his death with his cousin and uncle, but was orig­i­nally from Florida. Pritchard said she wanted to have an opportunit­y for his friends, fam­ily and co-work­ers up here to honor his life be­cause a lot of peo­ple won’t be able to go to Florida for the me­mo­rial.

“Daniel made friends with ev­ery­one,” she said, de­scrib­ing him as car­ing and charis­matic. “He was a lov­ing uncle, cousin, nephew, son, brother and friend. He was taken from us way to young.”

She said Johnson, 22, and Ken­drick were re­ally close and more like brothers than cousins.

“You will be missed and you are loved and al­ways will be. I love you and miss you very much. I can’t be­lieve you have left us so soon,” Johnson wrote on Face­book. “You al­ways gave me the best ad­vice when I was lost and down. I am still wish­ing that this was just a hor­ri­ble night­mare and I can wake up.”

Pritchard said Ken­drick was very in­volved in her son’s life and would spend a lot of time with him and Johnson, in­clud­ing play­ing on the play­ground next to her home and going to the zoo. Her son, Carter, turns three next month.

“He loved him like his own,” she said. “They would sit there and play on the swing and the slide.”

Fire and EMS were dis­patched to 574 Dan­bury Road around 6 p.m. Fri­day for a re­port of an un­con­scious man trapped in a con­veyor. The call came in about an hour af­ter the busi­ness closed to the pub­lic.

The man was “wrapped up in some kind of con­veyor pul­ley belt” and in car­diac ar­rest, the dis­patch said.

Fire­fight­ers from sev­eral com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Brook­field’s vol­un­teer com­pany, re­sponded to the scene for heavy res­cue.

The med­i­cal ex­am­iner ruled Ken­drick’s death ac­ci­den­tal and said he died from blunt com­pres­sion injury to his head and torso.

Lt. Lawrence Ash said New Mil­ford po­lice won’t have any new in­for­ma­tion un­til the Oc­cu­pa­tional Safety and Health Ad­min­is­tra­tion com­pletes its in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“The Hart­ford Area Of­fice of the Oc­cu­pa­tional Safety and Health Ad­min­is­tra­tion opened an in­spec­tion at New Mil­ford Block and Sup­ply … upon being no­ti­fied of the fa­tal­ity,” an OSHA spokesper­son said Mon­day morn­ing.

New Mil­ford Block & Sup­ply man­u­fac­tures and dis­trib­utes ma­sonry prod­ucts like pavers, brick, natural stone and block for busi­nesses, cities, schools and homes.

The com­pany is owned by The Mon­fort Group, which also has lo­ca­tions in Fishkill and New Wind­sor, N.Y.

“OSHA is gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion to de­ter­mine whether or not there were any vi­o­la­tions of work­place safety stan­dards in con­nec­tion with this in­ci­dent,” the OSHA spokesper­son said. Specifics of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion were not shared, but OSHA has six months to com­plete it.

New Mil­ford Block & Sup­ply has a history of OSHA ci­ta­tions.

In 2018, the com­pany was cited for vi­o­la­tions per­tain­ing to ma­chine guard­ing, gen­eral re­quire­ments for ma­chine guards, tem­po­rary wiring and sprocket wheels and chains.

The com­pany was fined

$5,497 for the vi­o­la­tions, but it was re­duced to $3,848 through in­for­mal set­tle­ments.

In 2013, New Mil­ford Block & Sup­ply was cited for vi­o­la­tions per­tain­ing to guard­ing of floor and wall openings and holes, ma­chine guard­ing re­quire­ments and lat­eral sta­bil­ity of pow­ered in­dus­trial trucks.

The com­pany was fined

$10,255 for the vi­o­la­tions, but that amount was re­duced to $6,153 through in­for­mal set­tle­ments.

“Daniel made friends with ev­ery­one. He was a lov­ing uncle, cousin, nephew, son, brother and friend. He was taken from us way to young.”

Con­trib­uted photo

Daniel Ken­drick holds Carter, the son of Shelby Pritchard and his cousin, Dwight Johnson. Ken­drick was killed in an in­dus­trial ac­ci­dent on Fri­day at New Mil­ford Block & Sup­ply.

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