IP mourns employee death

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

The Chilton County Sheriff’s Office continues the death investigation of 21-year-old Kevin Caver, an International Paper (IP) production team member who was killed while repairing a strapping machine at the lumber company’s Maplesville mill on May 31.

Friday’s edition of The Clanton Advertiser reported a striker blade, which exerts up to 3,000 pounds of force to tighten stacked lumber before it is bound together, crushed Caver – a Maplesville resident who had been employed at IP for a mere 15 months. The accident is suspected to have occurred at approximately 7 p.m.

Having found no signs of foul play thus far, Chilton County Sheriff Billy Wayne Fulmer has labeled Caver’s death as a “tragic accident.” The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have opened an investigation into the operation and condition of the mill’s strapping equipment.

In a press-released statement, IP Maplesville Manager Troy Elm said the lumber mill staff was deeply saddened by Caver’s untimely death.

“Kevin was a valued and respected member of the Maplesville team, and our thoughts and prayers are with his parents, other family members and friends,” Elm said.

Elm said the lumber mill is fully cooperating with law enforcement officials and OSHA representatives concerning the incident.

Employing approximately 150 team members, the IP Maplesville lumber mill produces dimension lumber in mass quantities, said spokeswoman Pam Frasier.