OSHA is investigating a horrific fatality at an Illinois foundry involving a worker who fell into a vat of molten iron.
Steven Dierkes, an employee at the Caterpillar Mapleton Foundry, “was presumably working alongside a crucible when he fell” into the 2,600 degree Fahrenheit vat. He died instantly.
Too inexperienced to work near molten iron?
The New York Post reported that Dierkes was taking a sample of iron and apparently just tripped, according to a co-worker who wished to remain anonymous. The co-worker said that only part of Dierkes fell into the vat, leaving half of his body lying on the deck nearby.
Another employee claimed Dierkes had only been at the facility for five days and wasn’t experienced enough to be working around molten iron.
Same facility had another fatal fall in December
Dierkes is survived by his life partner and their three daughters.
OSHA, the Peoria County Coroner’s office and the Sheriff’s Office are still investigating the incident.
The same facility had another fatal fall in December 2021 when Scott Adams, a 50-year-old worker, stepped off a ladder before falling through a hole in the floor.