The vice president of the Frankfort factory where two employees died in separate accidents issued a statement Wednesday addressing their deaths and the temporary closing of the plant.
Holger Ramcke, vice president of Montaplast of North America, reiterated that “the safety and security of every employee at Montaplast is of the utmost priority to us.”
Angela Mitchell, 35, died Sunday after suffering a head injury Thursday night in an accident involving an overhead crane. Then, on Monday, Ben Cermak, 23, of Lawrenceburg died after suffering an electric shock.
Another employee in the Thursday night accident suffered a shoulder injury, but that person’s name was not released.
In his letter, Ramcke wrote: “The Montaplast and Frankfort communities have been shaken by the recent tragic, accidental deaths of Angela Mitchell and Ben Cermak. Angela and Ben were valued members of our Montaplast family of employees. Our employees are the backbone of our company. The safety and security of every employee at Montaplast is of the utmost priority to us.
“We feel it is important for the community to understand what we have done after these accidents. Once we voluntarily shut down the facility the afternoon of October 17, we began the important process of inspecting every piece of equipment. We engaged outside, third-party investigators to inspect our equipment at the same time governmental authorities were present investigating the accidents,” Ramcke wrote.
“Prior to re-opening our facility and resuming production on October 19, we re-certified the facility’s equipment with a focus that our team was coming back to a safe and secure workplace,” Ramcke added.
Ramcke wrote that grief counselors remain on site and “we plan to keep those counselors available to our employees until they are no longer needed. Our employees are encouraged to share questions or concerns with their supervisors, and we have a safety hotline available for our employees’ use.”
Ramcke said the company is “determining the most meaningful way to remember and honor Angela and Ben. We look forward to sharing that news with the Frankfort community soon.”
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet is investigating the two accidents.
Montaplast is a supplier of center caps, exterior trim parts, and cloth molded interior trim parts for vehicles, according to the Kentucky Directory of Manufacturers.