Man killed by falling partition at Camden company

Posted: May 18, 2013

A 42-year-old Camden man was killed Friday morning when a concrete partition at a city recycling center fell on him. It was the second fatal accident at the facility this year.

Keith Rainer was pronounced dead at Cooper University Hospital shortly before 8:30 a.m., officials said.

The accident happened around 8 at ReCommunity Camden in the industrial complex on the 2200 block of Mount Ephraim Avenue, Camden County Police spokesman Michael Daniels said.

He said a front-end loader knocked over a concrete barrier, which fell on Rainer. Another employee used a forklift to free Rainer from beneath the slab, authorities said. The death appeared to be an accident, they said.

Rainer, a materials handler, was one of 114 employees at the recycling center, which has operated in Camden since 1992, company spokesman Karl Robe said.

The company, based in Charlotte, N.C., has 36 recycling operations in 13 states that process and package cardboard, plastic, and other recyclable materials for reuse.

In March, a 50-year-old Gloucester County man died when he fell through the roof in another part of the ReCommunity building. His death also was ruled accidental.

That victim worked for Harris Camden Realty, which owns the industrial complex and leases it to more than 10 businesses. The roof "had some undetectable issues," Harris Camden Realty's vice president said at the time.

The March accident is still under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

According to the most recent workplace fatality statistics available from the U.S. Labor Department, 4,609 people were killed at work in 2011. Of those, 84 died from being struck, caught, or crushed.

Fatal falls are much more common. In 2011, 541 people died by falling.

OSHA is investigating Friday's accident.


Contact Darran Simon at 856-779-3829, dsimon@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @darransimon.

Inquirer staff writer Claudia Vargas contributed to this article.

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