Workers ‘immediately incinerated’ after falling into molten iron, federal government says

A 39-year-old worker at a Caterpillar foundry in Illinois fell on his ninth day of work. iron crucible “And it was immediately incinerated,” officials said.

According to a Nov. 9 news release, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the June 2 fatality and found that a worker death could have been prevented.

A melting expert was removing an iron sample from the furnace when it fell into an iron pot heated to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, officials said. Caterpillar’s Mapleton Foundry.

“Had Caterpillar ensured the necessary safety protections were in place, workers’ lives could have been saved. This fact only adds to the tragedy,” said the OSHA regional administrator. Bill Donovan said in a release. “Producing more than 150,000 tons annually, Caterpillar’s foundry is one of the largest foundries in the United States and is keenly aware of industry regulations to protect workers using smelters and other hazardous equipment. need to do it.”

Caterpillar did not install federally required guardrails or restraint systems to prevent workers from falling, officials said.

“The 39-year-old employee’s ninth day of work might not have been the last if the necessary safety guards and fall arrest equipment had been installed,” the official said.

In a statement to McClatchy News, a Caterpillar Inc. spokesperson said, “We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of an employee involved in a serious accident at our Mapleton, Illinois facility on June 2nd. I’m here.”

“Our thoughts are with this employee’s family, friends and colleagues,” she continued. “The safety of our employees, contractors and visitors is our number one priority at all Caterpillar sites worldwide. We are looking for a suitable solution.”

OSHA Cited Company Records show he was fined $145,027 for one willful violation.

Caterpillar will have 15 days after receiving notice of the subpoena to comply, request a meeting with the OSHA Area Director, or contest the findings.

According to Caterpillar’s website, more than 800 employees work at the Mapleton foundry “manufacturing the cast-iron blocks that are the heart of most of the company’s engine platforms.” This plant melts up to 1,000 tons of iron every day.

Mapleton is located about 75 miles north of Springfield.

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