Public Safety

DuPont unit fined $4,500 after death of employee

Company cited after employee struck by semi Dec. 6

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined a DuPont subsidiary $4,500 for a violation that led to a December death of an employee at DuPont Industrial Bioscience in Cedar Rapids.

Daniel A. Heeren, 46, of Van Horne, died when he was run over by a semi at the facility, 1000 41st Ave. Dr. SW, just before 10 a.m. Dec. 6.

Cedar Rapids police determined the death was a non-criminal incident.

Iowa OSHA conducted an inspection Dec. 7 and on Dec. 28 cited Danisco US Inc., a unit of DuPont, with a serious violation for not providing a workplace “free from recognized hazards” likely to cause death or physical harm to employees.

“Employee was struck by the rear duals of the 2008 International semi-tractor as it pulled out of the load out,” the citation states. “Employee was exposed to a crushing hazard while working around the semi-tractor.”

OSHA told Danisco to identify safety zones around equipment and implement measures to keep employees out of these areas. The problem was fixed while inspectors were on site.

Danisco has 15 working days from when the citation was issued to contest the citation or the $4,500 proposed penalty. The company has asked for an informal settlement conference with Iowa OSHA Thursday to discuss the citation. Those meetings are not open to the public, OSHA officials said.

The U.S. OSHA reported 13 work-related deaths involving citations in Iowa in 2017, but the most recent incident listed was July 23 so Heeren’s death is not yet included in the database.

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Politico reported in August OSHA removed from the database deaths that did not include citations and shifted the searchable database away from the agency’s homepage.

l Comments: (319) 339-3157; erin.jordan@thegazette.com

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