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OSHA eyes workplace incident here

By Staff | Feb 26, 2010

Ruth McCreath

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a January incident at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center in which a 72-year-old woman was severely burned and later died.

Ruth E. McCreath, a dishwasher at the Clarion Hotel off Lowe Drive in Shepherdstown, suffered third-degree burns over her body when a deep fryer overturned on Jan. 17, according to Jeff Funke, director of OSHA’s Charleston office.

McCreath was transported to Johns Hopkins Medical Center’s Bayview Burn Unit in Baltimore, where she remained until she died Feb. 17. McCreath “may have fainted, or became ill for some reason, and overturned the deep fryer during a medical attack of some sort,” said Funke in a telephone interview last Friday.

“The Clarion reported the fatality and has been cooperating with the investigation,” said Funke. OSHA has up to six months from the time a case is opened to issue the results of its investigation.

A statement issued by the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center late in the afternoon on Wednesday read in whole “Ms. Ruth McCreath was injured in an accident at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center on January 17, 2010. No other employees were involved. Ms. McCreath subsequently passed away on February 17, 2010. The incident was reported to the appropriate authorities. The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is conducting an investigation and it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time. The Hotel and all of its employees extend their heartfelt condolences to Ms. McCreath’s family.”

McCreath was born on Jan. 21, 1938, in Martinsburg, where she resided until her death last week.

She was a member of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Martinsburg. She is survived by two sons, Charles and James Redman, seven grandchildren, two brothers, and one sister.

Funeral services were held on Monday, Feb. 22, at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, with interment at Pleasant View Memory Gardens in Kearneysville.