OSHA investigates worker death

A federal investigation is underway into the death of a 38-year-old worker at Veritas Steel in Wausau, authorities confirmed this week.

Emergency crews were called at about 3:45 pm Sunday to the Sherman Street plant for a report of a fallen steel girder, according to the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office. The worker, identified by family members as Jeffrey J. Jones, Jr., of Wausau, later died of his injuries.

Federal regulations require workplace fatalities to be reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration within eight hours. OSHA investigators arrived Monday to launch their investigation. Preliminary findings show the employee was unhooking a steel girder from an overhead crane when the girder fell, pinning him underneath. OSHA will determine whether the death was preventable and if safety could be improved at the plant. Autopsy results are expected this week, though the investigation could take months.

Veritas officials are cooperating fully with investigators and are expected to provide additional information about the incident following an internal review, says CEO Henrik Jensen. The company provides more than 70,000 tons of fabricated structural steel for simple and complex bridge projects nationwide each year, according to company officials.