Worker dies at Tacoma sawmill; state inquiry begins

A Tacoma sawmill worker died on the job Friday, and state investigators are looking into the circumstances and possible causes.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s office identified the man as Jeffrey Busha, 45, of Puyallup. A state spokesman and Tacoma Police said the incident took place at Manke Lumber Co. on Marine View Drive in the Tacoma Tideflats.

The state Department of Labor and Industries is leading the inquiry into the incident — a standard procedure for workplace deaths.

“We were notified by the company about a fatal incident that had occurred on the premises,” said Labor and Industries spokesman Tim Church. “We opened an inspection.”

Church said an inspector spent a little more than half the day at the scene, “to find out what happened and begin gathering information.”

Church said such inspections typically take up to six months. He said he could not provide specific details about the nature of the incident. An employee at Manke Lumber, reached shortly before the close of business Friday, said company leaders were unavailable for comment and the mill was temporary closed.

The medical examiner’s office confirmed Friday that it had received Busha’s remains and is still determining the cause of death.