Alcoa facing potential fines of $37,800 for fatal July 16 accident

Originally Posted Online: Oct. 04, 2012, 5:38 pm
Last Updated: Oct. 04, 2012, 6:38 pm
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By Stephen Elliott,

An Alcoa spokesman said the company will take corrective action after receiving six citations from the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Sept. 19 in connection with the July death of an employee at the Alcoa Davenport Works.

Robert Leach, of Wheatland, Iowa, died July 16 at the plant.

John Riches said the Iowa Division of Labor Services identified gaps in training and energy isolation procedures at the plant.

Jens Nissen, an Iowa OSHA spokesman, said the six citations were deemed serious, and total proposed penalties are $37,800.

Mr. Riches said Alcoa conducted its own investigaton and will meet with Iowa OSHA again next week to discuss the report.

The violations center on the plant's sheet finishing department's coil slitter.

"The employer did not specifically address energy control procedures for controlling movement of the threader table due to gravity," the citation states. "The platform was not pinned in place after being positioned in order for personnel to reach the threader table motor.

"The release from lockout did not include removal of the pin used to hold the platform in place. The release from lockout did not include a statement about notification of affected employees that the lockout devices had been removed.

"This condition existed on or about 07/16/12."

Each violation must be resolved by Nov. 5, according to the citations. One citation said Alcoa did not ensure employees performing servicing or maintenance on the No. 14 coil slitter, "were aware of all the energy sources, which included gravity, while performing servicing or maintenance, and the means to control the hazardous energy."

Mr. Nissen said Thursday that Mr. Leech was doing machinery maintenance when the accident happened.

In July, Mr. Riches said the last fatality at the plant was in August 2000.


Local events heading

  Today is Tuesday, Sept 2, the 245th day of 2014. There are 120 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: It is estimated that 300,000 people attended the recent Democratic convention in Chicago when Gen. George B. McClellan of New Jersey was nominated as a candidate for president of the United States.
1889 — 125 years ago: Alderman Frank Ill, Winslow Howard and Captain J.M. Montgomery returned from Milwaukee, where they attended the national Grand Army of the Republic encampment.
1914 — 100 years ago: Three members of the Rock Island YMCA accepted positions as physical directors of other associations. Albert Cook went to Kewanee, C.D. Curtis to Canton and Willis Woods to Leavenworth, Kan.
1939 — 75 years ago: Former President Herbert Hoover appealed for national support of President F.D. Roosevelt and Congress in every effort to keep the United States out of war.
1964 — 50 years ago: The Rock Island Junior chamber pf Commerce has received answers to about 65 % of the 600 questionnaires mailed out recently in a "Community Attitude Survey" to analyze sentiments of citizens towards their city's various recreational, educational, and civic service programs.
1989 — 25 years ago: The two thunderstorms passing through the Quad Cities last night and early today left some area residents reaching for their flashlights.

(More History)