MORGAN CITY — A Madisonville man employed by Fab-Con Inc. in Morgan City died recently from injuries suffered during an industrial accident at the Morgan City facility on Nov. 9, a Fab-Con official said this morning.
Josip Petkovich, 71, a mechanic, was injured in an accident and died a few days later as a result of injuries sustained in the accident, Fab-Con Environmental Health & Safety Manager Stacy Benandi said today.
According to his obituary, Petkovich died Nov. 11.
According to a Moran City Police Department incident report, the accident occurred at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 9 at the business at 1710 Youngs Road.
Another Fab-Con employee, Jonathon Perro, 21, of Mike Drive in Patterson, a rigger, also was injured in the incident.
According to the police report, Petkovich was laying on the ground underneath attempting to change a failed hose on a CASE 588 G forklift when he removed a part causing hydraulic fluid to be released. The loss of the fluid caused the load apron and forks to fall on top of Petkovich.
In the process, Perro was struck on top of his head and he fell over, according to the report.
Both were taken to Teche Regional Medical Center in Morgan City.
At the time of the incident, Benandi said the forklift was empty, and said all safety precautions and industry regulations were followed.
Benandi said this is the first time Fab-Con, established in 1987, has experienced an industrial-related fatality.
Perro, a full-time employee who has worked for the company for about a year, has returned to work, Benandi said.
He said Petkovich was employed full time by Fab-Con and had worked for the company for more than 10 years.
Bert Cass Jr., an attorney with Deutsch, Kerrigan and Stiles law firm in New Orleans, said this morning that he has been retained to investigate the case, but he said he was not authorized to identify who he was investigating for.
He said there has been no litigation thus far.
“We know it was investigated by OSHA, but OSHA’s not providing any information,” Cass said.
Juan J. Rodriguez, a spokesman with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, confirmed that OSHA has an ongoing investigation into the incident.
When asked if there were any signs that any violations were committed in the incident, Rodriguez declined comment citing the ongoing investigation.
Pending the outcome of the investigation, Cass said litigation against Fab-Con might be pursued.
“Once we get the OSHA investigation and everybody looks at it, the family will make a decision whether to pursue it or not,” he said.
Benandi said no one in Petkovich’s family has sued Fab-Con.
Perro said he would not sue the company.