Chicago Heights plant employee dies after falling into equipment - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Chicago Heights plant employee dies after falling into equipment

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CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A 60-year-old south suburban man was killed Thursday morning in an accident at the Vesuvius USA plant in Chicago Heights, authorities said.

The man's body was found inside a hopper at the plant at 333 S. State St. A hopper is a funnel-shaped bin that stores loose material, which is filled through the top and dispensed through the bottom.

The death is the second at the plant in 25 months, OSHA spokesman Scott Allen said.

The man's identity was not immediately confirmed by the Cook County Medical Examiner's office, pending notification of the next of kin.

Chicago Heights police and paramedics responded to a call of an industrial accident at 7 a.m., police said. The man was checked by paramedics and pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy will be conducted Friday.

A receptionist at the plant's front office said the company had "no comment at this time."

Allen said an OSHA inspector was on-site as of 1 p.m. to interview employees and witnesses. He said because the accident was a fatality, an investigation could take up to six months. Chicago Heights police also are conducting a death investigation.

An employee was killed there in a fall off a roof in March 2011, he said. The employee was working on the roof without any fall protection, helping a production operator with unloading material. He went on the roof of a building to hammer the side of a bin that had become clogged.

While pounding the clogged area, the employee fell from the roof to the ground 30 feet below, Allen said.

Allen said Vesuvius originally was fined $7,000 for that accident but it was later reduced to $5,000.

The site is a union plant, he said.

According to the company's website, its global activities include steel flow control, foundry technologies, advanced refractories, and precious metals processing.

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