Fatal work injury that killed Eric McClellan was preventable, Virginia-OSHA cites Reynolds Metals

By | 2018-01-22T20:32:29+00:00 June 28th, 2016|2 Comments

Eric McClellan’s work-related death could have been prevented. That’s how I see the findings from Virginia-OSHA in the agency’s citations against his employer Reynolds Metals, a subsidiary of Alcoa.

The 55 year-old was working in November 2015 at the company’s plant in Chesterfield County, Virginia. The initial press reports indicated that McClellan got “caught in a machine.” I wrote about the incident shortly after it occurred.

Virginia-OSHA issued a citation to Reynolds Metals for one serious violation related to machine guarding. Specifically, a guard

“designed and constructed as to prevent the operator from having any part of his body in the danger zone during the operating cycle.” (1910.212(a)(3)(ii)).

The company paid a $7,000 penalty and the Virginia-OSHA case is closed.

When some local press initially reported Eric McClellan’s death, they called it an accident. An “accident” suggests the circumstances were unforeseen or could not have been avoided. Virginia-OSHA’s findings tell a different story. Call it cutting corners, call it poor management, call it breaking the law. Whatever you want to call it, McClellan’s work-related death could have been prevented, it was no accident.

About the Author:

Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH
Celeste Monforton is a fellow in the Collegium Ramazzini; a lecturer at Texas State University; and professorial lecturer at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. She receives funding from the Public Welfare Foundation.


  1. Shelix June 29, 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

    I tried to figure out a way to contact you directly through the blog, but i came up empty. This seems like something you might want to follow up on:


    I am not finding much more info, almost 2 weeks out now. Your skills i suspect are vastly superior to mine.

  2. Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH
    Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH June 29, 2016 at 10:15 am - Reply

    Based on info in OSHA’s on-line database, it looks like OSHA’s area office in Albany is following-up on the fatality. At least one of the firms involved in the incident is Three D Rigging And Construction, Inc. The link to the OSHA record is below. It will be updated no later than 6 months after the date their inspection commenced. At some point in the weeks ahead, OSHA will also post the name of the deceased worker (link also provided below.)


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