A father of three was tragically killed when he fell into a vat filled with 2600F molten iron, a coroner has said.
The 39-year-old Steven Dierkes died instantly while sampling the 1,400°C crucible when he tripped and fell in.
According to a coworker at the Mapleton Foundry in Illinois, which is owned and operated by Caterpillar, half of his body remained outside the container.
He was remembered by his family as a hard-working man who absolutely adored his three daughters, and his partner, Jessica Stutter.
Coroner Jamie Harwood, who was mentioned in the newspaper serving Steven’s hometown of Peoria, stated that there is no evidence to suggest that any kind of foul play was involved in Steven’s death.
Other employees have spoken out about their concerns about the safety of the foundry, as another worker died there in December after falling 20 feet through a hole in the floor.
The employee also stated that Steven was not allowed to be on the iron floor.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the facility a fine in the amount of $5,750 in 2020 for a safety violation that occurred in 2020 and was reported to have concerned ‘fall prevention systems and falling objects.’
The company has issued a statement in response to Steven death, and said ‘We are deeply saddened by the death of an employee who was involved in a serious incident at our Mapleton, Illinois, facility on June 2.”