A Monmouth man was killed Wednesday while unloading construction equipment at his family’s business.

Philip Coward, 30, died at the scene when a load of rebar fell on him while he was working at Mid-Maine Foundations at 57 Howard Drive, said Monmouth Police Chief Kevin Mulherin.

There were no other injuries.

The property, on a dead-end road near Cobbossee Lake, and the company are owned by Coward’s parents, Thomas and Lisa Coward, Mulherin said. Thomas Coward was at the business when the accident occurred.

Karen Billups, area supervisor for the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s office in Augusta, said the federal agency will not comment on the accident until the end of the investigation, which could take as long as six months.

Billups said the fact that Philip Coward was a family member rather than employee will alter the dynamic of the investigation slightly. She said that if violations are uncovered, potential penalties would be limited to Gagne & Sons, the company that was delivering the reinforcement steel.

“It’s not a employer-employee relationship,” Billups said. “Of course we’re not going to go back on the family.”

Mulherin said Philip Coward was helping to unload a delivery from Gagne & Sons around 10:45 a.m. when the accident occurred. The forks on the forklift fell forward, causing the load to shift and fall off the forks and onto Coward. The load “essentially crushed” Coward, Mulherin said.

A birth announcement in The Times Record of Brunswick indicates that Philip Coward had a 17-month-old daughter. His Facebook page indicates he had at least one other young child.

The accident occurred slightly more than two years after the last work-related fatality in Kennebec County. Robert M. “Bobbie” Rodriques Jr., 54, of Augusta was killed on May 15, 2012, when a camp he was working on in Albion collapsed on him.

Rodriques died at the scene and Linwood Stover, the owner of Kennebec Home Improvements, which was doing the work, was injured.

OSHA fined Kennebec Home Improvements more than $9,000 for three separate violations.

Craig Crosby can be contacted at 621-5642 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4