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OSHA looking into Raging Buffalo incident

Published: Monday, March 3, 2014 4:13 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, March 3, 2014 11:43 p.m. CDT

ALGONQUIN – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into an incident at Raging Buffalo Snowboard and Ski Park that led to a 17-year-old boy being airlifted to the hospital.

OSHA spokeswoman Rhonda Burke said on Monday the agency's Chicago office would be looking into the incident but would not get into the specifics of the situation.

A 17-year-old employee at Raging Buffalo had to be airlifted Sunday to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge after his arm became entrapped in a conveyor lift.

The park was closed on Sunday after the incident and closed again on Monday, according to its website.

Burke said the agency has six months to complete its investigation, but said it may not take that long.

Interviews will be a part of the process, Burke said.

OSHA could check on whether the conveyor lift had proper guards in place and make sure the machine had something in place that would prevent it from running while maintenance was taking place, Burke said.

"These would just be items the inspector would look at, [because] it is alleged that he was 'caught in the machine,'" Burke said. "So again, OSHA would want to ensure there was proper machine guarding, training and operating procedures to prevent such an incident."

Whether the employee was wearing loose clothing, also is among the things that may be looked into, Burke said.

"There's a lot of things that could have contributed to this [incident]," Burke said.

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