A Gary construction
company has been fined $3,500 by the Indiana Occupational Health and Safety
Administration (IOSHA) for a “serious” violation, in connection with a fatal
accident in November at ArcelorMittal’s Indiana Harbor facility in East
was issued the fine on March 11 by IOSHA.
On Nov. 13, Michael
Samuelson, 39, of Valparaiso, and two other contract workers were removing
steel plates in the No. 2 Rubble Pit at Indiana Harbor West. The three were
trying to free a chain fall when an unsecured 7,300-pound plate toppled onto
killed. The Lake County Coroner’s Office ruled his death accidental and
determined the cause to be blunt force trauma.
investigating, found that the employer, Pangere, “did not instruct each
employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the
regulations applicable to his/her environment to control or eliminate any
hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.”
IOSHA also found an
alternative violation, also deemed “serious”: namely, that Pangere “did not
establish and maintain conditions of work which were reasonably safe and . .
. free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or
serious physical harm.”
violation, IOSHA fined Pangere $3,500.
On Wednesday, the
Associated Press reported that Pangere plans to appeal IOSHA’s safety order.
“It’s under review and we will be appealing,” the AP quoted Vice-President
Bill Rathjen. “We disagree with their findings.”
“Our hearts still
go out to the families of all our employees that were involved,” Rathjen
Pangere has 15 days
from the receipt of IOSHA’s safety order to appeal the fine. It’s unclear
when the company was notified.