Investigation continues into accidental death at Tell City found - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Investigation continues into accidental death at Tell City foundry

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TELL CITY, IN (WFIE) -

Over the weekend, a worker from Owensboro, 45-year-old Bobby Felty, died in a fall at Tell City's Waupaca Foundry. 

On Monday, the investigation is underway into what caused the accident and how it might have been prevented. 

Bob Dittmer with the Indiana Department of Labor says Stewart Industrial and Waupaca are working with I-OSHA to determine what happened.

State police and the Perry County Coroner's Office say Felty lost his footing while standing on some scaffolding at the foundry and was not wearing any kind of fall protection gear.

In a joint-statement from Waupaca and Stewart Industrial on Monday, Stewart says Felty participated in a pre-job safety meeting on July 3 and that the meeting included specific instruction on fall protection.

Waupaca also added that all contractors who work in the plant must meet specific safety requirements, before starting work, and that Felty was approved.

Dittmer says 'fall protection' varies from one job site to the next, so there will be several things for investigators to consider.

"What that fall protection is, depends greatly upon what they're doing. The rules can vary a little bit between manufacturing and construction. We know very little about what has happened in this particular circumstance right now. So, I really couldn't be in a good position to comment on what the employee should or should not have been using," Dittmer said.

Dittmer says this type of investigation normally lasts for two to three months.

Below is the entire statement from Waupaca and Stewart Industrial:

Representatives of Stewart Industrial and Waupaca Foundry are distressed by this weekend's fatal incident at the Tell City, IN plant. Bobby E. Felty, 45, of Owensboro, Ky., was an employee of Stewart Industrial and died Saturday after a fall in the foundry.

 "Our deepest condolences go out to the Felty family. Bobby's family, friends and the Ironworker Local 103 are in our thoughts and prayers," said Allan Stewart, owner of Stewart Industrial.

 According to representatives of Stewart Industrial, Felty was a member of a work crew doing maintenance on the plant. Felty attended a pre-job safety meeting on Wednesday, July 3 before starting work at the plant; that meeting included specific instruction on fall protection.

 A joint investigation between Waupaca Foundry, Stewart Industrial and OSHA is underway to determine the cause. Felty was not wearing fall protection equipment at the time of the incident.

Waupaca Foundry has a comprehensive safety program in place and all contractors who work in the plant must meet specific requirements to be an approved contractor. Each contractor is reviewed annually and every project requires pre-job safety reviews. Bruce Tesch, plant manager for Waupaca Foundry, confirms that Felty and other crew members from Stewart Industrial attended all pre-job safety meetings prior to working in the plant.

"Our hearts go out to the entire Stewart Industrial family, " said Tesch. "They have been a valuable partner to Waupaca Foundry for many years."

Waupaca Foundry has an occupational health and safety management system, and is registered in all six of its foundries to be consistent with OHSAS 18001. Additionally, Waupaca Foundry provided a grief counselor to meet with Stewart Industrial employees and foundry employees following Saturday's accident.

Stewart Industrial has a comprehensive safety program that includes training and provides all employees with the tools and the equipment necessary to do the job safely.

Stewart Industrial has been working at Waupaca Foundry for several years and was contracted to provide maintenance during the foundry's holiday shutdown. 

Related Story:

Man dies in accident at Tell City foundry, name released

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