Breaking news: Albert Lea man dies in workplace accident

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 28, 2006

By The Albert Lea Tribune

and The Globe Gazette

Northwood &045; An Albert Lea man working at Advanced Component Technologies Inc. in Northwood, Iowa, died after a work-related accident Monday.

Dennis Vanderwoude, 53, was pronounced dead at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester early Tuesday.

Vanderwoude was working at the plant on a temporary basis. He was employed by the Albert Lea office of Manpower, a staffing services company.

In a statement released Wednesday, Manpower Branch Manager Jason Sanborn said Vanderwoude had been employed by Manpower since April, 2006, and was on assignment as an assistant machine operator. He said Manpower was deeply saddened by the news of Vanderwoude’s accident.

Manpower is a multinational staffing company, which provides permanent, temporary and contract employees to its clients, according to its Web site.

It is unclear whether the accident is being investigated by law enforcement. Repeated calls from the Globe Gazette to the Northwood Police Department and Advanced Component Technology were not returned Wednesday.

Vanderwoude’s daughter, Michelle Karnes of Austin, said she knew little about the accident that led to her father’s death.

&8220;I heard he was crushed by a machine,&8221; she said.

Karnes said her father, who previously worked at Quality Pork in Albert Lea, had worked at the Northwood plant only six days.

&8220;I think he might have even still been in training,&8221; she said.

The Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Department log shows a call made to the department at 9:24 p.m., requesting an ambulance be sent to the plant. Mercy Air Life was also paged, according to the log.

Administrator Mary Bryant of the Iowa office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) confirmed her office was investigating an accident at the plant but said she could not give any details, pending release of its report.

&8220;We routinely investigate work-related accidents,&8221; Bryant said, adding the office will investigate machinery used and interview witnesses. The process could take up to a few months, she said.