Authorities say a worker who fell to his death last month in Springfield had been removing paint from a pallet when it broke.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that 25-year-old Josh Halphin fell five stories while helping to move paint buckets. The paint was stacked on a wooden pallet that a forklift had raised to a balcony.

A witness told police he believes the workers may have retrieved too much paint from one side of the pallet, causing the pallet to tilt and break. Police said Halphin had at least one foot on the pallet when it flipped.

An attorney for his employer, RF Barratt Enterprises, says in a statement that the company intended for the workers to use an enclosed stairwell to move the paint. Federal officials are investigating.

Dmitry Kalinovsky, ThinkStock