BERWICK (AP) – Federal workplace safety officials are investigating an accident that claimed the life of a worker at Prime Tanning Co.

Thomas J. Brown, 48, of Sanford, was killed by the force of the collision when a standup forklift he was operating backed up against a storage rack late Friday afternoon in Prime Tanning’s plant in Berwick, officials said.

Co-workers removed Brown from the forklift, and he was transported by ambulance to a hospital where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later.

Brown, who had worked for Prime since 1976, was part of a team responsible for materials storage and was a key member of a group that organized the recent rebirth of operations in Berwick, the company said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspected the forklift and maintenance records and found no defects, said Berwick Police Capt. Jerry Lock. The company was cooperating in the investigation.

AP-ES-08-04-03 1637EDT

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