Wednesday, July 26, 2006

IOSHA Investigating Star Photographer's Death

Editor & Publisher reports today that a state OSHA investigation is taking place into the death of Star photographer Mpozi Tolbert. E&P writes:

Indiana state officials are investigating whether The Indianapolis Star violated state workplace safety requirements, following the death of a Star photographer who collapsed in the newsroom earlier this month.

"We became aware that there was a death at the work site and we are investigating to determine whether or not there were OSHA violations associated with the death," said Tim Grogg, a special assistant commissioner with the Indiana Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration office. He said the agency became aware of the death within the last two weeks, but did not know if the employer had reported it as required by state law.

"Anytime we become aware of it, whether it is reported by the employer or another way, it is our statutory duty to do an investigation," Grogg added. "I don't know how many people [at the Star] they have had an opportunity to interview, but they have been to the site within the last two weeks."

E&P also discusses the ongoing war of words between former Star columnist Ruth Holladay and Star management over the emergency response to Tolbert's medical distress. If Indianapolis residents want to know what's going on with this skirmish, they're going to have to rely on Internet blogs. The Star and other local mainstream media outlets aren't covering the story--at least so far. Hat tip to the Indiana Law Blog for catching yet another.

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