- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) - Federal authorities have fined a Wisconsin concrete plant $21,000 after a worker was crushed and killed by concrete in February.

Wieser Concrete Products in Portage received citations for three serious violations following an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Portage Daily Register reported (http://bit.ly/1x0F39r ). The probe began after Mike Kittle, 29, was killed by a falling concrete form on Feb. 28.

OSHA said the accident happened when precast concrete products fell because lifting anchors embedded in the parts were overloaded. The investigation ended in July and found employees were exposed to multiple hazards. The newspaper received part of the report under the Freedom of Information Act.

OSHA classifies a serious violation as a mid-level infraction that’s not as severe as willful, egregious or repeat violations. A $7,000 penalty is the highest fine for a serious violation.

An agency spokesman says the company has contested all of the citations.

Executive vice president Mark Wieser says Kittle’s death was the first production employee death for the plant, which has 30 workers. He declined to comment on the citations while they are being contested.

“Hearts and thoughts and prayers are still with Mike’s family and Katie and Aubrie,” Wieser said, referring to Kittle’s fiancee and their 3-year-old daughter. “We’re still in touch with Katie and Aubrie all the time. Our employees contributed to a college savings account for Aubrie and our company did also.”

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Information from: Portage Daily Register, http://www.portagedailyregister.com

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