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Industrial accident under review

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The state is investigating the death of a 73-year-old Honolulu man who died in an accident at a Mapunapuna business Thursday.

Alberto Somera was working at Moo’s Machine Works when he was apparently "hit in the head by an aerial boom," said Jennifer Shishido, administrator of the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division.

Paramedics took Somera in critical condition to a hospital, where he died.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office identified Somera as the victim and said an autopsy determined he died of blunt force trauma to the head from an industrial accident.

A safety division investigator went to the scene Thursday and went back again yesterday, Shishido said. Because of the investigation, the company cannot use the boom until further notice. The state could release a report in six months.

Shishido said the company does repair and maintenance on industrial equipment. Its safety record was not immediately available. A woman who answered the company’s phone said the company has no comment.

Because of budget cuts, the division has only five investigators statewide, with three based on Oahu and two on the Big Island, Shishido said. One Oahu investigator is on Kauai for non-emergencies. The division had 18 investigators in 1990 and is below the federal minimum of nine investigators, which was mandated for Hawaii based on the number of employers, the labor force size, and the kind of work done.

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