OSHA investigating death of long-time Menard Inc. employee

According to its website, Congress created OSHA nearly 44 years ago "to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance."

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The death of a long-time Menard Inc. worker has triggered a government investigation that could take up to six months to finish.

Gary Henkey, 73, had worked at the company for nearly 17 years. He died on Monday. A Menard Inc. spokesman says Henkey was working at the Menards Distribution Center Warranty Center on June 27, when he was seen lying on the floor and struggling to get up. A department manager called for help. He was taken to the hospital, where he died. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration office in Eau Claire found out about Henkey's death Monday morning, and says its investigators arrived at the site within 15 minutes.

In a statement, a Menard Inc. spokesman says "we are very saddened by the loss of one of our long-time, well-respected team members and express our deepest sympathy to Gary’s family and friends.” It also says that it doesn't appear there were any safety issues when OSHA inspected the building. An OSHA spokesman said Thursday that any report that the investigation is finished is false, and that the agency remains on-site.

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