By on May 5, 2015

Jefferson North Assembly Plant

UPDATE: Previous incident at Jefferson North included at bottom.

UPDATE 2: Added name of worker and clarified details.

A worker was crushed and ultimately succumbed to his injuries this morning at Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango plant.

At around 6:30 a.m., 53-year-old Donald Megge, of Sterling Heights, was crushed in a press and declared dead at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. The accident happened during the day’s first shift, confirmed a FCA spokesperson speaking with CBS affiliate WWJ in Detroit. He was performing preventative maintenance duties at part of the first shift of the day starting at 5:30 a.m.

“A plant employee was killed at the waste water treatment plant. The company is currently working with local officials to investigate the incident. All of the FCA family extends its deepest sympathies to the employee’s family during this difficult time.”

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

This isn’t the first time a death has befallen Jefferson North in recent years. As Automotive News reports, a worker was stabbed by another worker at the plant in 2012 during a dispute over a woman. The attacker later took his own life off-site.

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37 Comments on “BREAKING: Worker Crushed To Death At Grand Cherokee, Durango Plant...”


  • avatar
    mikey

    So sad…

    I have witnessed some terrible accidents. No matter, who,or what, is to blame, its still a tragedy.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Tragedy indeed.

    I can only hope I will be so fortunate as to not die at work.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    Thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Awful.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Most likely a press for removing waste water solids. Or a sludge cake / filter press.

    What an awful way to go. Belts, presses and chain conveyors still freak me out even after being around them for a decade. Getting caught in moving machinery is horrific.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      “Most likely a press for removing waste water solids. Or a sludge cake / filter press.”

      Those are extremely terrifying machines. Better than working in the coke ovens on Zug Island, but not much.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        While studying for my bachelors I had an elderly professor who had one complete arm while the other was gone below the elbow and had a prosthesis of which only the thumb could be moved for grasping.

        He told us (a room full of largely farm kids who had decided to pursue higher education) how during his senior year of high school he had an unfortunate encounter with a PTO drive shaft on a tractor. He stated firmly that this was one of the moments of his life which encouraged him to go to college. Something about the way he told it got it burned into my brain.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I had a prof in junior college who lost his right arm in Vietnam. He told a similar story having surviving the ambush and being determined to “make something” of himself.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          While in college, I poured concrete in one of the steel mills on Zug Island. Zug Island is hell. If Dante wrote the Inferno in the 20th Century, that’s where the gates to hell would be. “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” The US Army sent me to conflict zones around the world that I’d rather be at over Zug.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Evidently its humming, and incidentally its the site of an ancient Native American burial ground.

            “Originally a marsh-filled peninsula at the mouth of the River Rouge, it served as an uninhabited Native American burial ground for thousands of years.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zug_Island

            http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/mysterious-windsor-hum-traced-to-zug-island-mich-1.2651783

            https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/zug-island-the-story-of-the-windsor-hum

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I find the mouth of the Rouge River a weirdly beautiful place. The nature vs industry battle is on full display. However, being there always gives me a very disconcerting feeling.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          PTOs are no joke. Those plastic safety shields have saved my father and I from our own stupidity on more than one occasion.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’m terrified that when working on my lawn mower of snow blower they’ll start up and chop me up (always pull the spark plug wire). I can’t imagine going under a tractor.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            It’s okay, the PTO isn’t under the tractor. It’s behind it! Hope you’re not wearing anything loose!

            http://i.imgur.com/aFUYVMh.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Nope Nope Nope

            See. I am not a proper tractor repairman. I can keep my Suzuki powered Toro running. That’s enough fun for me.

        • 0 avatar
          LuciferV8

          @PrincipalDan:

          The best way to keep any kid from flunking out of college is to make him work a dirty, dangerous, low-pay, no-degree-needed job first.

          My experiences both working in and observing such jobs scared me right into graduating with a 3.9+ GPA.

          No disrespect to those who work tough, dangerous jobs, though. I wish them well and hope they can work without incident.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Machinery accidents do tend to be rather grisly. Reading about early industrial-era factories and shops, they are mentioned rather often. There are worse ways to go, though…

  • avatar
    mikey

    @Tres… Sept 21 1979, late in the afternoon shift. I was a 26 year old, acting, acting, Group Leader {today they call them Team Leaders}. I saw I guy get caught at the transfer, from flat top, to a curve conveyor. I’ll spare the details.

    I was so shocked I hit every “E stop”…I could see. I shut 2 miles of assembly line off, back as far as “body in white”.

    I spent another 29+ years in the plant, and never forgot that moment. Its frozen in my memory.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Damn.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      :(

      I witnessed a die casting accident where an operator stepped into a pot after drossing.

      I have heard many stories about conveyors, guarding, etc. I would take the pot of magnesium any day over a caught/pinch point.

      Thank you for sharing, man. Safety reminders are always value added.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        I remember an accident in an X-Car body shop. It was at point where the two sides of the body were joined with the center. At a certain point in time, flashing yellow warning lights would start and the two sides would move across the adjacent aisles to join up with the center. One of the workers involved with joining the sides managed to get her foot or ankle caught between one of the sides or the fixture and the center part of the car body. Didn’t witness the event myself, just the ambulance and emergency personnel. I was told they couldn’t stop the line initially and they had to move her along with the car for a few feet until the fixture released.

        Not long after, a co-worker was in a golf cart and stopped just beyond that section of aisle, but inches away. I was a little further away, but couldn’t tell if he was in the path or not. The lights started flashing and I thought for sure he was going to get nailed. Fortunately for him, he was just out of range and was blissfully unaware of how close he came to being dead.

        Still, as dangerous as it was, the body shop was always my favorite. Sparks flying everywhere and that glorious smell of burnt metal. But, it was a dangerous place and you had to be alert.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Always a tragedy.
    But back when I was working, the stats showed you were more likely to get maimed while commuting to work than working in the plant.
    Both have improved in safety over the years, so that relationship may still hold.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s your point that makes industrial accidents such a news item these days, especially in automaker union shops where a local rep is more likely to bring an issue to the attention of managers.

      • 0 avatar
        jrmason

        I agree, which makes me wonder if this poor soul over rode a safety feature in an effort to save time. As redundant as assembly plants like this are, anything that so much as puts you at risk for bad posture is addressed, I just can’t see a normal task or routine causing such a tragedy.

        Ive been involved in installing major presses,molds, and various process equipment since the late 90’s and safety is always the primary factor in which all machinery is designed.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Note that this fatality was in the waste-treatment plant, not the assembly plant.

          Wrong kind of press, though one assumes the same basic issues are involved…

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            Yes, Likely a filter cake press of some sort as someone mentioned above. The place I currently work at has 2 large filter cake presses as part of the waste water treatment. Every thing has to be filtered and neutralized before leaving the plant, and each press has (4) 15 ton hydraulic cylinders that draw the press together. There is a safety cord running the entire length of the press if the operator has to stop it for any reason. There are also sensor eyes that will shut the whole operation down should anything break that plane. It is a slow moving piece of equipment with built in layered safety features. Not that Ive seen it happen, but they can be over rode.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I’ve had far too many friends & acquaintances die in car accidents over the last few years. Driving is indeed more dangerous than people think.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    As a Farm Boy I got used to almost no one having all their fingers / toes / whatevers .

    As you said , it sticks in your mind .

    As a Mechanic I’ve seen some horrible deaths both in and out of the Shop .
    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Both of my father’s farm accidents that I’ve witnessed could’ve ended up with the loss of a digit or two, but thankfully didn’t. Just a lot of blood.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    When I worked for L.A.X. for a short stint , the TWA Hanger next to us was running a one man shop late at night graveyard shift , aptly named…..

    The Mechanic was trying to fix one of those old 1970’s baggage conveyors , powered by a Ford 300 CID i6 it had problems with stalling out when loaded down , he’d done who knows what to the governor and managed to get caught in the conveyor belt as it slowly pulled him up , over and mashed him into red goo……

    Caterpillar makes these wonderful ” Belly Scrapers ” for road building , the blades across the bottom need periodic replacement and many Field Mechanics prop the belly blade up with only the hydraulics then kill the engine and climb in to change the belly blade before it closes of it’s own considerable weight , cutting said idiot in _half_ .

    Then there was the Welder who crawled inside our asphalt mixer to weld up a broken blade , another damn fool came along and tore off the red lockout tags , fired up the asphalt plant and mixed up the Welder really well…

    SAFETY KNOWS NO SEASON ! .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Nate wrote: SAFETY KNOWS NO SEASON!

      Neither does LACK of safety.

      Einstein once said that he knew of only two things that were infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And he wasn’t too sure about the universe.

      But tearing off red lockout tags without confirming that the machine was empty is just totally FUBAR’d…F’ed Up Beyond All Recognition.

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    Yep, seen all sorts of things in my working life . In My Home country the government bought in a no fault compensation scheme to award those injured at work. At the time I was chief engineer in a saw mill. A large automatic set up with many small sawing operations happening at once. One of these was for cutting battens to length and an operator was used to press a foot pedal to allow a swing saw to come out and trim the ends of the battens square. Two different operators used this saw to remove a few fingers to get the compo money….

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    When I worked in a trauma center I remember seeing many victims of industrial accidents, some lethal. Whenever the automotive makers pressure their suppliers to make deadlines it’s when we see the most accidents. I’ve seen arms cut off by plastic injection molding, hands/fingers smashed by press machines, etc. Whether it’s the negligence of the factory or operator error, these injuries/deaths are sad and frustrating. The “Safety First…” sign doesn’t go far enough.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    RIP. It’s hard to imagine such things happening in modern factories, what with LOTO, etc. Perhaps some combination of unusual circumstances.

    For the truly awful, google the 2012 fatality at the Bumble Bee tuna factory in Santa Fe Springs.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    My sympathies to the fellow’s family and friends.

    I’ve seen some nasty stuff in my career.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    This is very sad, and in my more naive days, I would have felt badly upon hearing such news, but would not have distinguished this type (manner) of workplace death from other types.

    All workplace deaths are unfortunate, obviously, but it wasn’t until I gained even a slight familiarity with the types of massive machines, presses, punches, articulating machines, and other heavy duty equipment possessing the power to rip human limbs and crush bodies that I actually pondered how there weren’t even more such horrific deaths in what are factories full of dangerous machinery & humans doing repetitive tasks.

    At an office job, people doing repetitive work get a stapled finger when not paying complete attention.

    At these factory floor jobs, the same type of mistake can easily cost a person their limbs or life.

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