OSHA investigating workplace death at Jeffersonville manufacturing plant
The Clark County Coroner says a woman died from injuries after an accident with a machine.
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- OSHA is investigating a southern Indiana manufacturing plant after a worker died on the job.
The Clark County Coroner said Melissa Stephens, 44, died from injuries after an accident with a machine. It happened at the Autoneum North America facility at River Ridge in Jeffersonville on Saturday night.
"I'm not shocked that someone died there," Fayth Hall said. "I am shocked at who it was, just because I knew her."
Hall worked at the plant with Stephens earlier this year making car parts for Ford and GM. She said she decided to leave her job because of unsafe working conditions.
"There's so many things that shouldn't be going on," Hall said. "It's a very unsafe environment."
Hall said she isn't shocked Stephens' death involved a machine. She said employees don't get enough training to operate the machines safely.
"I was not taught whatsoever how to do a machine," she said. "They threw me on to the line, and I was expected to know what I was going to do, which is extremely dangerous."
The Jeffersonville plant has a clean record, but nine OSHA investigations have turned up 33 serious safety violations at other North American Autoneum plants in the last four years alone.
In May, OSHA fined Autoneum $500,000 after a worker lost a hand and part of his arm at an Ohio facility. Those violations were deemed "willful," meaning the company knew it wasn't complying with safety laws and/or acted with plain indifference toward employee safety.
The Swiss-based company sent WDRB News the following statement:
“We confirm that a fatal accident happened Saturday night at the Autoneum plant in Jeffersonville, Indiana. We immediately started an internal investigation and work closely together with various authorities. As a globally producing company, Autoneum complies with occupational health and safety regulations at all locations and is committed to the highest local and international standards in this area. We are deeply affected by this accident and our thoughts go out to the family of our colleague.”
- Dr. Anahid Rickmann, Head of Corporate Communications & Responsibility
A spokesperson for the Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Administration confirms the agency is conducting an investigation into the incident at Autoneum.
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