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 Friday, Aug. 1, the 213th day of 2014. There are 152 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: A mad dog was shot in Davenport after biting several other canines and snapping at several children. The police should abate this nuisance — there are about 500 dogs in this city that ought to be killed at once.
1889 — 125 years ago: Track laying operations on 2nd Avenue, stopped by the Moline-Rock Island company last spring for lack of rail, have been resumed.
1914 — 100 years ago: Bulletins allowed to come through the strong continental censorship of all war news indicated that Germany was advancing with a dash against both Russia and France.
1939 — 75 years ago: Emil J Klein, of Rock Island, was elected commander of Rock Island Post 200, American Legion.
1964 — 50 years ago: Members of the Davenport police department and their families are being invited to the department's family picnic to be held Aug. 27 at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds.
1989 — 25 years ago: Beginning this fall, Black Hawk College will offer a continuing education course in horseback riding at the Wright Way Equestrian Center, Moline, located just east of the Deere Administration Center.

(More History)