A 2-inch pipe struck Homer Gay, 70, in the head at the Harlem pecan-processing plant, Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins said.
The Appling man was working on an air compressor Friday morning when he noticed a leak, Collins said.
“He told people to get away from it, and he turned to walk away from it” when the pipe blew off and hit Gay in the right side of the head, Collins said.
A Tracy-Luckey employee refused to comment Friday afternoon on the accident.
Gay’s body will be taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for autopsy.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified of the fatality and sent a compliance officer to Harlem to begin an inspection.