Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said an employee at its Jefferson North Assembly factory in Detroit was killed Tuesday morning while working at the facility’s wastewater treatment plant.
“The company is currently working with local officials to investigate the incident,” Jodi Tinson, a Fiat Chrysler spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement. The United Auto Workers said the victim was union member Donald Megge, 53, of Sterling Heights, Michigan.
Megge, a millwright and wastewater operator, was working alone doing regular maintenance during a shift that began at 5:30 a.m. local time and was discovered about an hour later, Norwood Jewell, the UAW vice president for relations with Fiat Chrysler, said in a statement.
Fatal workplace accidents have declined in the past decade, said Kristin Dziczek, director of the Industry & Labor Group at the Center for Automotive Research. In 2013, 312 people died in U.S. manufacturing, including three in auto factories and six in part-supplier plants, she said, citing Labor Department data. About 4,600 people died on the job in the U.S., compared with 5,600 a decade ago, she said.
“One is too many, but this has been improving over time,” Dziczek said in an interview. The research organization is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Fiat Chrysler factory, which has about 4,400 hourly workers, builds Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles.