The Herald Bulletin

August 29, 2013

Man injured in industrial accident

Safety investigation to be completed within six months

By Traci L. Moyer
The Herald Bulletin

ELWOOD, Ind. — The Elwood Fire Department responded to an accident at ELSA LLC., 1240 South St.Rd.37, for a 70-year-old man who had been injured by a forklift. 

The identity of the man has not been released, but officials say he was not an employee of ELSA.

ELSA is a manufacturing supplier of automotive parts including fuel tanks, exhaust pipes and mufflers. The company, which opened in September of 1987, employs approximately 350.

A call for emergency services was received at 7:59 a.m. on Thursday said Elwood Fire Capt. Brad Stewart. He said the man suffered a serious injury to his left foot that was not life-threatening. Initial reports of an amputation were inaccurate, Stewart said, although the man did suffer extensive skin and tissue damage. 

Emergency personnel transported the man to St. Vincent Mercy Hospital in Elwood where Stewart said hospital officials contacted lifeline to have the man quickly transported Indianapolis.

“With these types of injuries you want to act quickly,” Stewart said. “It was a time sensitive situation, but Lifeline could not fly because of the fog.”

Officials at ELSA declined to comment on the accident.

According to Occupational Safety & Health Administration records, ELSA was cited with 19 workplace violations in 2005, and fined $6,825. Eleven of the violations were classified as serious in nature. There have been no violations or inspections at the company since 2005.

The 2005 investigation was initiated by an amputation.

Bob Dittmer, public information officer for the Indiana Department of Labor, said ELSA should have reported the accident within eight hours of the incident.

"Once we are notified, we assign an investigator," Dittmer said. 

Dittmer said the investigation must be completed within six months, but is often completed within three months. He said the investigation will focus on safety procedures and standards. Violations can result in fines, but the main goal for the agency is to improve workplace safety. 

"We are not here to put business out of business," he said.   

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