Earlier this month, a steelworker died at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor,
the largest integrated steelmaking facility in North America, located
in East Chicago, Indiana. According to the United Steelworkers Union Local
1010, the 61-year-old man was driving a Taylor Dunn buggy at the steel
mill and drove under a stationary scrap trailer. It is believed he and
his coworkers attached a scrap piece of steel to the buggy to put it into
the trailer. A worker may have then disconnected a safety strip while
the operator of the buggy was trying to move out of the area. The buggy
suddenly went forward under the trailer with the driver still in it.
Although there was an immediate response by coworkers, the worker was transported
by plant ambulance and plant medical responders to a local hospital. An
official cause of death has not been determined at this point in time;
the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.
The wrongful death and workplace injury
attorneys at Wagner Reese will continue to follow this story and are thinking of the victim’s
family, friends and co-workers during this difficult time.
Unfortunately, workplace injuries are an all-too-common threat, no matter
what type of work environment you inhabit. But according to the U.S. Department
of Labor, the percentage of injuries to steelworkers, including ironworkers,
is among the highest of all career fields. Each year, 47 out of every
100,000 steelworkers in the United States will experience a serious (or
fatal injury), ranking steelwork the sixth most dangerous job in America.
Most common steelworker injuries are:
The plain and simple truth is that it is the responsibility of every employer to
ensure a safe work environment for their workers. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, regulations
have been in place since 1970 to ensure that workers are entitled to an
environment and conditions that do not pose a risk of serious bodily harm.
The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) is continually
working to improve working conditions, educate employers and employees,
and pass legislation to keep working environments safer. Workers have
the right to a workplace that undergoes regular inspections, and they
also have the right to report errors, dangers, and injuries without the
fear of retaliation from an employer, discrimination, or the loss of a
job. Workers are entitled to see full reports of the safety inspections
done in their workplace so they have the information they need to stay safe.
In the case of a workplace fatality, often times worker’s compensation
is not enough to cover the surviving family members’ living expenses
in the absence of their loved one. A
wrongful death claim in these cases can help a family carry on, even without the ongoing income
and support of their loved one. Indiana workers’ compensation death
benefits are among the lowest in the country, so work-related wrongful
death lawsuits can often bridge the gap.
If you are a steelworker and have been injured in your workplace, the
work injury attorneys at Wagner Reese are here to support your workers’ compensation claim
and get you back to earning a living. If you have lost a loved one due
to a workplace accident or employer negligence, wrongful death damages
can be awarded. We put decades of experience to work for you, and we won’t
collect any fees unless your case is settled or won. Connect with us by
submitting our online form, and our attorneys will review your information, and respond promptly.
If you wish to speak directly with us, please call (888) 204-8440.