Valmont Coatings

A worker at Valmont Coatings Gateway Galvanizing plant died at University Hospital Wednesday after an accident at the facility.

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) – Company officials have identified a worker who died after an accident at a metal finishing plant in Jeffersonville. 

According to Scott Schook, corporate director of safety and health for Valmont Coatings Gateway Galvanizing, the deceased worker is 49-year-old Marion Fletcher.

Jeffersonville Fire Marshal Mike McCutcheon confirmed Fletcher was injured in the accident at the Valmont Coatings Gateway Galvanizing facility around 11 a.m. Wednesday. 

McCutcheon says Fletcher was taken to University Hospital in Louisville, where he died. 

According to Shook, Fletcher has worked at the facility for a total of nine months: four as a temporary worker, and five as a full-time Valmont employee.

Kirk Knisely, who regularly drops off and picks up shipments from Valmont as a truck driver for Lennox out of Indianapolis, said he's never seen red flags.

"Everybody — where I pull up out here — all fork lift drivers had all their safety gear on, and everything seemed normal," he said. "I just feel it, because I come from a shop that deals with steel, and it's a dangerous, dangerous job, and you can get hurt. Everybody's got to be careful. It's not an easy job."

The company was closed on Thursday, with inspectors from Indiana OSHA as well as the company's head of health and safety on site.

Details about the nature of the accident or exactly how it happened are not yet available. 

The galvanizing plant, located at 1117 Brown Forman Drive off Utica Pike, uses different processes to add coatings to metal products and equipment to prevent rust and corrosion, according to its website

Valmont Industries is a nationwide company based in Nebraska, with plants in several states including Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Virginia. State and federal safety records indicate there have been no serious violations at the Jeffersonville plant in at least 10 years.

Until all of the victim's family members have been notified, company officials have little to say, but Shook did release this statement Thursday morning:

"Unfortunately we have had a very, very serious incident that occurred at our galvanizing plant in Jeffersonville. We are currently cooperating with all authorities including Indiana OSHA."

We are working to gather more details and we'll bring them to you as soon as they're available. 

"It's not one of the easier investigations that I've done," Shook said.

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