Dingell calls for OSHA to probe safety standards at Dearborn factory after worker death

Ben Wilson
The Detroit News

Dearborn — U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell is calling on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to conduct a "full and thorough investigation" into the safety standards at a Dearborn factory following the death of a worker there this month. 

Khaled Saleh Nasser, 50, of Dearborn, was pronounced dead July 16 after falling from an elevated catwalk at the Cleveland-Cliffs Dearborn Works facility. 

“(Nasser’s) death has drawn serious questions about working conditions at the facility and the need to ensure that these workers are safe,” Dingell wrote in the Monday letter to James Frederick, acting assistant secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health for the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Dingell is calling for federal health and safety officials to conduct an investigation into the standards and protocols at the Cleveland-Cliffs facility in Dearborn.

Dingell noted that as of last year the facility employed 1,325 people and Nasser’s death highlights "credible fears and concerns that more must be done to protect these


She is requesting that OSHA investigate concerns from employees and union members, provide a detailed explanation of current safety measures and issues, and release any past complaints at the facility. 

“Companies should be held to the highest standard to guarantee that their employees receive proper protections when working in dangerous environments,” the letter said.

A spokesperson for OSHA could not be immediately reached Monday for comment on Dingell's letter, nor could officials with Cleveland-Cliffs. 

Dingell said she's also seeking data on the “process and frequency” with which OSHA reviews safety measures at these facilities. 

“It is crucial that we take cogent steps to ensure the protection of our workers, and that any subsequent investigation into potential violations is timely and takes immediate action to abate worker safety concerns,” the release said. 

Nasser worked for AK Steel, a subsidiary of Cleveland-Cliffs, that manufactures flat-rolled steel and iron ore pellets.