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Woman recovering following industrial accident in West Bend, WI

February 18, 2023 – West Bend, WI – A 27-year-old woman from Theresa, WI is recovering following a scary situation at a recycling company in West Bend’s south industrial park. According to West Bend Police Chief Tim Dehring the police were called around 6:04 p.m. Friday, February 10, 2023 to Quincy Recycle, 2230 Stonebridge Circle.

“It was a conveyor belt situation and luckily she gets stopped before she gets to the shredder,” said Dehring.

OSHA investigating an industrial accident in West Bend, WI

“She never went into the shredder. She was just kind of pinned against it and luckily, one of her coworkers was there and helped her out.”

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Dehring was not aware of the extent of the woman’s injuries but confirmed she was transported for medical care.

“There was no criminal element; we didn’t find any evidence of a crime, including neglect or anything along those lines. There was no safety violation involved,” he said.

A coworker, Tyler Bera, was working that night and heard the woman’s screams and came to her rescue. “She screamed over 10 times… and I heard her last scream,” he said.

Still shaken, days later, Bera said, “God was with us that night.”

His coworkers are commending Bera and saying he is truly a “hero.”

Calls to Quincy Recycle confirm the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was in town this week to look into the situation.

Philip J. Hildebrand Jr. is Vice President of Finance and Administration with Quincy Recycle.

“First, I would just want to emphasize at Quincy Recycle we don’t use the term ‘safety is our No. 1 priority,’ we say ‘safety always,'” said Hildebrand.

“We emphasize safety on a daily basis, certainly in terms of our onboarding, orientation processes, and all of those things. We work very closely with all of our local teams, including the one in West Bend, to ensure all of our safeguards and protocols and operating procedures are in place.

“We do everything we can to make sure we emphasize everyone goes home at the end of the day, to their families, because their families are expecting them home safe and whole.”

Hildebrand said Quincy Recycle has a strong safety record in West Bend. He said the last reportable injury, prior to what occurred Friday evening, was November 1, 2021.

Hildebrand confirmed the Friday accident did occur on a conveyor belt, that was “headed towards a paper shredder.” He said the company took immediate action to care for the employee and address the situation.

“I was involved in this right away Friday night, myself personally from our corporate office and our local General Manager and Operations Manager, were on scene Friday evening, with the rest of the crew,” said Hildebrand. “We have procedures and protocols in place that this should never have happened.”

Questioned about OSHA being in town, Hildebrand said they welcome OSHA and hopes it helps improve their company.

“We always welcome OSHA, we partner with OSHA, we are on the same side of the table with OSHA, because we all want the same thing and that is to operate an absolutely safe environment as we possibly can and ensure that all the tools and protocols are in place to ensure the safety of 100% of our employees,” said Hildebrand.

“While we don’t have their report yet, know it went well, we were fully cooperative on site, they interviewed a number of associates and so I look forward to continuing to work with them (OSHA) on anything they may identify. There was nothing of immediate concern from the interviews that took place yesterday with OSHA.”

Hildebrand said the woman has not yet returned to work however they are in touch with her daily “to ensure she’s being taken care of and receive the medical attention needed.”

“This is a top priority for us in any situation like this, regardless of how it happens, or why, we want to make sure when someone is injured, that they’re getting the care and attention they deserve.”

Hildebrand said Quincy Recycle is also proactively using the incident to “remind everyone of the protocols the company has in place to prevent this from happening anywhere else.”

“It’s quite a scary situation, obviously, when something like this occurs, and so we make it a priority to make sure we learn all we can and reiterate the things we talk about every day,” he said.

Wendy Wendorf

On a side note: Calls have been placed to the woman and her family. Bera said they “thank God” it wasn’t worse, and their simple request is to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Quincy Recycle is “A leading industrial recycling company… solving waste stream problems for manufacturers and other industrial suppliers for nearly 50 years.” Quincy handles “paper, plastic, and metal recycling, and help our clients build sustainable industrial waste solutions within their business.”

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