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Coroner IDs man killed on the job at Middletown Works

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Posted at 11:48 AM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 11:48:37-04

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — The Butler County Coroner has identified a man killed on the job at Middletown Works on Tuesday.

The man has been identified as 46-year-old Wessley Blanton, from West Carrollton. The coroner's report said he died from head trauma and the cause of death was listed as an accident.

Middletown Works is an integrated steel operation owned by Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.

Blanton died during planned maintenance of the hot strip mill, from injuries sustained during "routine activity," according to Patricia Persico, a spokesperson with Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.

"Cleveland-Cliffs expresses its deepest sympathies to the employee's family and the company will provide the necessary support to the family during this difficult time," Persico wrote in a statement. "We will be conducting an investigation with representatives from International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and OSHA."

Persico did not provide additional information about how the accident occurred.

According to OSHA records, several investigations have taken place over the past decade. In August 2019, OSHA reported an employee suffered foot injuries after getting caught in a pinch point.

An explosion at the former AK Steel plant gave a worker serious burns on 78% of their body in April 2013. That worker later died. OSHA records show in that case, an informal settlement was reached totaling $5,700.

Middletown Works was also inspected by OSHA as recently as last week. A complaint was filed and two inspections are done; That case is still listed as active. WCPO has requested inspection records and documentation on the complaint, but has not yet received them.

Man killed in accident during 'routine work' at Middletown Works steel mill