The Caterpillar company will have to pay only $ 145,000 in fine for violations that led to the death of a worker
Federal labor authorities notified construction machinery and equipment manufacturer Caterpillar about a $145,000 fine for the death of a worker who died when he fell into a pot in which steel was melted.
An investigation by the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that Caterpillar would have violated several legal provisions related to the death of the worker.
OSHA's inquiry found that allegedly the facility from which the worker fell, did not have safety rails and it also did not have restraint systems to protect workers in the event of a fall.
According to the labor authorities, these additions are part of the requirements that the law imposes on companies in places where workers perform dangerous work or when handling risk equipment.
According to an OSHA statement, Caterpillar allegedly “routinely exposed employees to fall hazards without protection while working four feet under superheated cast-iron ceramic pots.”
On June 2, a Caterpillar foundry specialist worker fell into an 11 foot deep smeltercausing her instant death, according to OSHA.
The incident occurred at a function plant located in Mapleton, Illinois, where the 39-year-old worker fell into thea pot that was over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature.
“Caterpillar's failure to meet its legal responsibilities to ensure the safety and health of workers leaves this worker's family, friends and co-workers suffering needlessly,” said OSHA Area Director Christine Zortman, it's a statement.
Local media identified the worker as Steven Matthew Dierkeswho was the father of two little girls.
For its part, Caterpillar indicated in a statement sent to CBSNews that the company was "deeply saddened" by the death of its worker, who had only been on the job for nine days.
“The safety of our employees, contractors and visitors is our top priority at all Caterpillar locations around the world,” said Lisa Miller, a company spokeswoman.
In addition to the $145,000 fine, OSHA cited the company in its investigation.
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