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Another Worker Death in Northwest Indiana Steel Mill Accident

Jason Reese

Another fatal accident has occurred at a northwest Indiana steel mill. We recently wrote about two steel mill accident deaths within a matter of months at the Gary Works plant. This time, ArcelorMittal-Burns Harbor was the site of an accident that left one dead.

Kevin Campbell, of Crown Point, was an independent contractor hauling steel for PI&I Motor Express. He was securing his tractor-trailer’s load when he was hit by another semi driver at the busy steel mill. The 69-year-old victim was taken to the hospital, but he died later that night near midnight.

Steel Mills: Dangerous Workplaces

Whether employed by the mills themselves or operating as contractors within the walls of the mills, there is no doubt that the work in U.S. steel mills is dangerous. This year, northwest Indiana has been hit hard, with at least three steel mill accident deaths in the last six months.

Workers rose up in protest at the Gary Works plant even before the death of Jonathan Arizzola. They believed the layoffs of maintenance workers had left the remaining employees vulnerable to serious and potentially-fatal dangers at the plant. They may have been right. In response to continued criticism and pressure to respond, Gary Works recalled 75 maintenance workers in hopes of avoiding further incidents.

At ArcelorMittal, there are safety concerns as well. The most recent incident highlights questions about practices related to securing a tractor-trailer’s load. United Steelworkers Local 6787 President, Pete Trinidad, says his organization hopes to be a part of the investigation even though Kevin Campbell was not one of their own. After the horrible crushing accident, Trinidad believed ArcelorMittal will be looking into the event to see “if there is some type of method to better secure…loads without putting

[truck drivers] in harm’s way.”

Deadlier Than Average Year for Indiana Steel Mill Workers

As we discussed previously, Indiana usually accounts for two of the 14 steel manufacturing deaths in the United States each year. With three deaths over a six month period, it appears 2016 poses additional challenges for workers, especially in northwest Indiana.

Steel mills have historically brought to mind stressful work, with large equipment and molten steel dwarfing any employee working within. Recent times, however, have brought improvements and greater safety to the work, largely through modern equipment. The need for heavy labor and human engagement with molten metals has decreased thanks to computerization. Unfortunately, injuries and fatalities are likely to continue and be a source of ongoing risk to steel mill workers.

If someone you love lost their life or was seriously injured in a steel mill accident, the personal injury attorneys at Wagner Reese can help you keep your family on their feet financially during an emotionally trying time. Your initial consultation is free, and we don’t collect a dime unless your case is settled or won. Call us today at (888) 204-8440.

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