Two companies fined $39,000

From time to time I make a big deal about the workplace safety record of the Chinese steel industry and supporting industries, like coal.

Well, fair is fair. You may remember the accident back in May where a person cleaning out a collection hopper died. There was a followup article a few days later.

Well, I like doing followup articles. I wish the media did more “what eventually happened to that case” reporting. So here’s the followup in this case:

Two companies were fined a total of $39,000 in the death of William ‘Bill’ Maffitt who died while working as a contractor at Beta Steel on May 6.

The state also said that Beta Steel didn’t give the Portage Fire Department access so that it could develop rescue plans before the accident.

Portage Fire Chief Tim Sosby said since the accident Beta has contacted his department to craft a new plan for when employees work in confined spaces. He said beforehand, the company had been required under law to notify the fire department when workers would be entering confined spaces, and the company had not done so.

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