Fulton City Administrator Randy Balk said the city is still waiting to receive a copy of the official Illinois Department of Labor report on the July windmill accident that claimed the life of Ronald Venema, chief volunteer miller at de Immigrant.
Venema died July 3 following a fall at the windmill on July 1. He was performing closing duties when he fell a distance inside of the mill. Venema suffered severe head trauma and died. Since July, the DOL has been investigating the accident.
During Monday’s Fulton City Council meeting, Mayor Larry Russell informed the council that the DOL’s findings were in, and for the most part seemed favorable to the city. He mentioned that the city did receive some citations on particular practices. However, he said representatives from the DOL complimented some of the windmill’s safety practices.
In a Tuesday telephone interview, Balk clarified that while the report has been completed, the city does not have a copy from the DOL yet. He met with DOL representatives recently for the finalization of the report. However, he said the city should not have the official report for another two weeks.
Balk stressed that while the city did receive some citations in the report, no fines were issued. He also said the DOL representatives found the city and the millers to be very proactive with safety issues. He said the citations were on a few changes the volunteer millers could make to enhance the safety even more.
Balk said working with the DOL has been a good experience and representatives from the DOL have apologized for the process taking as long as it has. He said he has tried to keep the volunteer millers aware of the process. He pointed out that such a loss is always tragic, but especially for such a tight group as the volunteer millers.
Information from the DOL on the report was not available at press time. More information will be released as it becomes available.