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Globe Metallurgical confirms injuries to workers

Globe Metallurgical Inc. has confirmed that two employees were injured in an incident Tuesday afternoon at its Selma plant on Old Montgomery Highway.

Lee Payssa, corporate director of human resources for the company, confirmed the injuries Thursday, but details were limited.

“This is an ongoing investigation right now, and our focus is on the injured employees and their families,” Payssa said. “That’s all I can comment on right now until we’re finished.”

Payssa would not disclose information on what exactly happened to cause the injuries to the two Globe Metallurgical employees. He also declined to give an update on their medical condition.

Selma Fire Chief Toney Stephens said Tuesday an employee was “burned badly” at the plant. The Selma Fire Department, Craig Field Volunteer Fire Department and Care Ambulance responded to the scene Tuesday between noon and 1 p.m.

Police and fire scanner traffic indicated flames and smoke were visible, and that an employee suffered severe burns. At least one worker, according to scanner traffic, was transported by ambulance from the plant.

Stephens said the scene was under control when the Selma Fire Department’s crews arrived on scene. According to the department, the original call went out as a business fire.

It is unclear if the incident is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is responsible for assuring safe and healthful working conditions.

Globe Metallurgical has a history of incidents at its Selma Plant. According to OSHA, a worker, Marvin Bennett, died in 2012 after falling 16 feet off of a ladder while working in a feeder tunnel. In response, the company was cited for five safety violations. They were fined $106,000 in proposed penalties by OSHA.

The company was also cited for the death of an employee in May 2004 when Tony Bradley suffered severe burns from being exposed to temperatures above 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit when an electric furnace erupted. A second employee was injured in the incident, which happened on May 28, 2004. OSHA fined Globe $40,500. Two citations were related to the incident, and 11 additional citations were also issued.

The Times-Journal previously reported three other fatal incidents at Globe Metallurgical. One was in 1996 when Johnny Dunklin was killed when a furnace erupted. According to an article on Dunklin’s death, two workers were killed in a similar incident in 1990.