Alcoa investigating death on-site at Pinjarra alumina refinery

Adrian Rauso
The West Australian
2 Min Read
Alcoa has confirmed an employee was found dead at its Pinjarra alumina refinery this morning. It is believed the death was not work-related.
Alcoa has confirmed an employee was found dead at its Pinjarra alumina refinery this morning. It is believed the death was not work-related. Credit: Supplied/Supplied

Alcoa has confirmed an employee was found dead at its Pinjarra alumina refinery this morning.

Following queries from The Nightly an Alcoa spokesman confirmed that an employee was found unresponsive by a colleague near an amenities building.

“First aid was administered, and emergency services were called; however, the person was unable to be revived,” he said.

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“Alcoa is working with authorities to investigate the matter, and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

“Support services are being offered to other members of the workforce.”

A WorkSafe spokesman said the health and safety regulator had been advised of a fatality at a Pinjarra workplace today.

“WorkSafe is conducting preliminary enquiries to determine whether the fatality is work-related,” he said.

The Nightly understands initial investigations are pointing to the death not being the result of a work-related incident.

While the death is not believed to be work-related, Alcoa has a chequered safety history at the site.

In November, five workers were burnt after a chemical spill at the Pinjarra refinery, with two hospitalised.

The US-controlled company runs three major refineries in the State — at Pinjarra, Kwinana, and Wagerup — and big mining operations in the Southwest and the Perth hills near Serpentine Dam.

Alcoa mines bauxite and refines the rock into alumina using the powerful chemical caustic soda.

About $6.7 billion of alumina was exported from WA in the last financial year. The product is used to manufacture aluminium, which has far-ranging uses, from soft drink cans to aeroplane parts.

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