One person died in a workplace accident on Monday at Russel Metals Williams Bahcall at 999 W. Armour Ave. in Milwaukee.
The man was identified by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office as 42-year-old Kelvis Price of Milwaukee.
According to the examiner's investigation report, Price was using a magnetic crane to lift a 5,000-pound piece of metal when one of the magnets failed. The large steel plate fell and he was found lying on his back with the plate on top of him from his waist down.
Fellow employees could not immediately move the plate because the crane's remote control was also pinned underneath it. Another crane was eventually used to move the plate from Price. The incident happened just after noon Monday afternoon and Price died Tuesday at Foedtert Hospital. Investigators ruled the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries.
Price's parents described him to investigators as a boxer and someone who was very active in the community.
Toronto-based Russel Metals Inc. announced the accident in a press release Wednesday, but did not provide additional details.
John Reid, Russel Metals president and chief operating officer, said Price was an 18 year employee of the company. The press release said the company was working with authorities to determine the cause of the accident.
“In all of our operations the safety of our employees is paramount,” said Brian Hedges, Russel Metals chief executive officer. “This is a loss which is profoundly felt by everyone at Russel Metals.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration spokesman Scott Allen confirmed the agency had opened an investigation but said no additional information would be available until the investigation is complete. OSHA has six months to complete the investigation, he said.
Online records show the company had to pay a $4,900 penalty as part of an informal settlement in 2012. Inspectors found violations related to required information about load capacity not being posted on lifting magnets and the operation of an overhead crane.
The company’s Green Bay facility also reached an informal settlement to pay $3,600 in penalties in 2014.
Russel Metals Williams Bahcall provides metal products and processing services. It is a subsidiary of Russel Metals, one of the largest metal distribution companies in North America.