A western North Carolina farm where a worker died earlier this year faces an $8,400 fine from the state Labor Department.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported (http://avlne.ws/19ymb5L) that the department fined Norton Creek farms in Franklin for the death of Bobby Ammons on Aug. 2. An agency spokesman says the fine is for two alleged serious violations. Authorities say Ammons was overcome by carbon monoxide caused when a propane-fueled forklift operated inside a trailer with no ventilation.
A second worker also was overcome and treated.
The maximum penalty for each violation is $7,000, said state DOL spokesman Neal O'Briant.
No one answered the phone at Norton Creek Farms when the Associated Press called Tuesday. The company has 15 working days to appeal the fine or request an informal conference with the department. O'Briant said.
The company also has until Nov. 27 to fix problems identified by the Labor Department. It also can appeal that date, O'Briant said.
Two workers were overcome "by high levels of carbon monoxide caused by operating a Nissan propane-fueled forklift inside a 53-foot-long trailer with no ventilation," according to the citation from the Labor Department.
The Macon County Sheriff's Office reported at the time that two workers were loading produce from inside a cooler building into the back of the semi-trailer, which had been backed into a loading dock.
In addition to the second worker, sheriff's deputies, firefighters, first responders and bystanders who had stopped to help had to be treated for symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.