The death of a worker who fell into an 11-foot-deep vat of molten iron that was heated to more than 2,000 degrees
this summer has been blamed on one of the largest producers of industrial vehicles and equipment in the world, and it has resulted in citations and penalties.
Steve Dierkes, a melting specialist at a Caterpillar foundry in Mapleton, Illinois that produces cast iron engine components, was "immediately burned" on June 2 of this year
after falling into a sizable tub of molten iron that was heated to around twice the temperature of volcanic lava. Dierkes passed away just nine days into his new position.
The foundry routinely exposed workers to unprotected fall hazards as they worked within four feet of deep ceramic containers containing super-heated molten iron,
according to investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which made the discovery in a statement.