Jerry Wayne Evans of Forest, Virginia (VA) was working late at International Paper when tragedy struck. Reports indicate that around midnight, Mr. Evans suffered a serious injury while operating some heavy machinery. Police were notified and he was rushed to Lynchburg General Hospital but did not survive, according to The News & Advance. 

Our deepest sympathies go out to Mr. Evans’ friends and family. He was only 39 years old.

The details of what exactly happened aren’t clear since the industrial accident is still under investigation. The most pressing questions include – what type of equipment was Mr. Evans operating? Did this equipment malfunction in some way? Were there any other circumstances which led to the fatal accident? We have to wait and see what the official accident report states.

International Paper has experienced fatalities due to industrial accidents in the recent past. Back in February of 2009, an employee at an International Paper wood yard in Georgia (GA) was killed after being hit by a timber loading crane, according to the Augusta Chronicle. 

In 2008, the total number of industrial accidents in Virginia (VA) was 3,452 with 85 percent of those accidents occurring in the private industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The stats indicate nine industrial accidents occur every day in the Commonwealth.

These numbers need to go down. Too many employees are getting seriously injured or killed in these incidences, many of which are preventable. We have laws and regulations in place to try and prevent industrial accidents, but it takes a concerted effort from industry and the private sector to ensure those laws and regulations are adhered to.