Worker Crushed In Radford

The state Department of Labor and Industry is investigating an accident in which a Pulaski man was crushed in a 900-pound press at New River Castings Co. last week.

David Gravely, a 28-year-old press operator, is now listed in good condition at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville after a press closed on him during a power outage, according to Edward Ramsey, president of United Steelworkers of America Local 9336.

The accident happened June 13 when the top half of the press Gravely was cleaning lost power because of a lightning storm. The machine lacked a device to keep it open without its main power source and crushed the worker, Ramsey said.

“They didn’t have a blockout or lockout on it to hold it in place,” he said.

The company has since placed such safety devices on its presses. But it’s too little, too late for Gravely, Ramsey said.

“It’s something that happened that shouldn’t have happened,” he said. “All of them have them on now, but that’s like shutting the barn door after the horse is out.”