Man hit by steel beam dies

Accident at CJ Bio America is under investigation

The man who was struck by a steel beam Thursday evening at the CJ Bio America plant west of Fort Dodge has died.

The death was confirmed Friday by Deborah Babb, the public service manager for the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The man’s name has not been released.

The man was an employee of a contractor, according to Luke Palmer, the general affairs manager for CJ Bio America.

”At this time, we are only able to confirm that a worker sustained a fatal injury when he was apparently pinned under a beam that was being erected as part of a construction project,” Palmer said in a written statement.

The accident was reported at 5:08 p.m. Thursday. The beam, described by Fort Dodge Fire Department Lt. Tom Ubben as a steel rafter, was not on the man when rescuers arrived.

The man was treated at the scene for what Ubben called ”very substantial injuries” and was transported to UnityPoint Health – Trinity Regional Medical Center.

Babb said compliance officers from her agency were sent to the scene Friday morning. She said she could not comment further on the ongoing investigation.

”The incident is under investigation and we expect that the investigation could take some time,” Palmer wrote. ”CJ Bio will assist and cooperate in any way possible. Safety is of critical importance in any of our projects and we are deeply saddened by this loss of life.”

”Our sincere sympathies go out to this individual’s friends and family who are grieving this tragic loss,” he added.

The CJ Bio America plant is located in the industrial park called Iowa’s Crossroads of Global Innovation. Production began there on Nov. 1, 2013.

The plant produces the amino acid lysine, which is added to feed for poultry and swine, and liquid fertilizer.

A $51 million expansion project is under way that will enable the plant to make another amino acid called L-Threonine. The expansion will create 18 more jobs in production and production support roles.

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