A 54-year-old South Lyon man died after he fell into a tank of sulfuric acid. The incident occurred around noon at the Michigan Seamless Tube and Pipe facility. The cause of the man's fall remains unknown.
After being pulled from the tank by a co-worker, the man was put into a shower and then rushed to The University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor where he died Saturday night. The 160-degree acid is used to strengthen the piping manufactured at the plant.
South Lyon Police Chief Chris Sovik said no criminal charges will be filed by the department as the incident appears to have been an "occupational accident." The man began working with the company in April 2017.
"To the responding officers, there was no indication of foul play," said Sovik. "It appeared as a tragic accident."
All findings have been turned over to The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) who will continue to conduct their own investigation, one that could take several weeks or months, according to Pardeep Toor, administration spokesperson.
Sovik emphasized that he wants to make contact with the man's family before releasing his name. He said police department staff offer their condolences and prayers to the man's family, friends, and co-workers.
The state's investigation will focus on the company's compliance with state workplace safety and health requirements. It will include a state compliance officer showing up to the facility unannounced to conduct a walkaround of the workplace.
The officer will then compile their findings into a written report, which will include any alleged violation(s) which could result in citations up to $70,000.
In a statement, the company called the incident "a very serious industrial accident" and said they are conducting their own internal investigation while cooperating with MIOSHA.
Prior to this incident, the most recent workplace fatality to have occurred in Oakland County was on May 4, 2018, in Clarkston.
Source: The Oakland (MI) Press