Machine used by worker killed at Cloverdale sawmill shut down

State occupational health and safety officials investigating the death of a Cloverdale sawmill worker have blocked the use of an automated debarking machine involved in Wednesday's fatal accident, an agency spokesman said Friday.

Inspectors found that the device poses a continuing hazard, though the prohibition on its use could be lifted as early as next week, Cal-OSHA spokesman Greg Siggins said.

Siggins said such "yellow tags" are tools frequently used in the aftermath of industrial accidents if equipment is deemed an "imminent hazard to the safety and health of workers."

Ukiah resident Raul Lule, 43, was attempting to clear a jam in the debarker at the Redwood Empire sawmill when he somehow became entangled in machinery and died Wednesday afternoon.

Redwood Empire officials would not provide additional detail, citing the ongoing Cal-OSHA investigation.

— Mary Callahan

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