July 26, 2011
A Bartholomew County coroner has determined that the Columbus, Indiana, man who died on Thursday, July 21, at his workplace died of a heart attack complicated by extreme heat.
The 50-year-old man from North Vernon, Indiana, collapsed at his workstation at CE Systems Inc., which makes iron castings for heavy equipment manufacturers. He had reportedly retreated to the a cool room earlier in the day to take a break from the heat, which reached the mid-90s that day.
The Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office found that the man was taking medication for hypertension and high cholesterol.
The Indiana Department of Labor is investigating the man’s death, which was not reported until Monday despite a requirement that all workplace deaths be reported within eight hours.
“We’ll take a look at everything from the workplace itself, where the employee was doing the work, what type of work the employee was doing,” said Department of Labor spokesperson Stephanie McFarland.
The man’s family told TheIndyChannel.com that they believe the death could have been prevented.
“They could have given him breaks,” said the man’s son. “They could have asked him to go home because of the heat. It gets about 180 degrees in there.”