Cause of factory death confirmed: Montaplast employee’s injuries ‘consistent with electrocution’
Published 11:27 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Karen Sherman, a spokesperson for Montaplast, said Tuesday that the Frankfort plant remained closed Tuesday instead of Wednesday. The plant re-opened Wednesday, Sherman said. Additionally, personnel from the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Program, not the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, are investigating the deaths.
A preliminary postmortem exam and autopsy performed Tuesday confirmed that the injuries Benjamin Cermak, a 23-year-old production engineer, suffered Monday afternoon at Montaplast’s Frankfort plant “are consistent with electrocution,” according to Franklin County Coroner Will Harrod.
A toxicology exam was also performed, Harrod said, with results expected in three to four weeks.
The investigation is ongoing, with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office assisting the coroner’s office in the death investigation, Harrod said.
Jarrad Hensley, communications director for the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, said personnel from the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Program are also investigating the deaths of Cermak and Montaplast employee Angela Mitchell, who died from injuries sustained in an unrelated accident at the plant last week.
According to a media release from the Fayette County coroner’s office, Mitchell, 35, died Sunday from injuries sustained in a crane accident Friday.
An updated release from Montaplast said its employees offer their thoughts and prayers for Cermak and his family and Mitchell and her family.
“We are deeply saddened by the fatalities of two employees that occurred at the Montaplast of North America manufacturing facility on Friday, Oct. 14 and Monday, Oct. 17,” the release said. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with their families. The safety and security of our employees is our priority and we are fully cooperating with authorities on these matters.”
Harrod said Cermak moved to Lawrenceburg about three weeks ago for his job at Montaplast and is originally from Erie, Pa.
Harrod confirmed that Cermak and another man both suffered an electrical shock about 1 p.m. Monday. The other man, who has not been identified, was treated and released from Frankfort Regional Medical Center.
OSHA representatives were on site at Montaplast when Monday’s incident occurred, Harrod said. The plant voluntarily closed at 3 p.m. Monday and remained closed Tuesday.
Karen Sherman, a public relations spokesperson for Montaplast, said the Frankfort plant remained closed Tuesday and would be open again Wednesday.
Montaplast makes precision plastic parts and systems for interior and exterior automotive engine components.
Comments posted by workers indicate that this plant has many-many safety issues and that workers always fear that they will be injured or even die.
========= Man Electrocuted In Workplace Accident At Montaplast Identified
Posted: Oct 17, 2016 4:15 PM EST Updated: Oct 17, 2016 7:11 PM EST
FRANKFORT, Ky (LEX 18) Two men suffered from electrical shocks Monday at Montaplast in Frankfort, we have learned that one of those men has died.
The Franklin County Fire Chief told LEX 18 that the employees were shocked around 12:30 p.m.
He said that one man was able to walk to the ambulance. He was transported to Frankfort Regional Medical Center.
One of the men was electrocuted and died, the Franklin County Sheriff's Department said. A press release from Montaplast identified the employee as 23-year-old production engineer Benjamin Cermak.
Montaplast stated in their press release that further details regarding the cause of the accident are being investigated and that information will be released when appropriate.
Montaplast and its employees offer their thoughts and prayer for Cermak's family.
Another Montaplast employee died Sunday after an accident that happened last week involving a crane.
Jarrod Hensley, spokesperson for the labor cabinet, says there are two active investigations in regard to Montaplast. One concerning the incident that happened last week and the incident that happened Monday.
Montaplast will be closed Tuesday.
The coroner said that OSHA was on the premises when the incident occurred.
An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.
State Labor Cabinet opens investigation into Montaplast accident
By Greg Kocher
The state Labor Cabinet opened an investigation Friday into a crane accident in which two employees at a Frankfort plant were injured.
On Thursday night, two production employees of Montaplast of North America were involved in an injury accident involving an overhead crane, the company said in a press release.
One employee sustained a head injury and was airlifted to the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital in Lexington where she underwent emergency surgery. The company did not identify her and the press release said “her condition is presently unknown.”
The second employee sustained a shoulder injury, was treated at a local medical facility and was released, the company said.
Jarrad Hensley, a spokesman for the state Labor Cabinet, confirmed that an investigation was opened, but wrote in an email that “we cannot comment on any ongoing investigations,” according to cabinet policy.
“Montaplast and its employees offer their thoughts and prayers for the injured employees and their families,” the release said.
Montaplast is an automotive supplier of exterior trim parts, center caps, cloth molded interior trim parts, and air intake manifolds, according to the Kentucky Directory of Manufacturers. In 2015, it employed 760 people, the directory said.