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Tipton plant manager will be 'greatly missed' following workplace death

Company raising money for Elliot Sullivan's family
Elliot Sullivan, 38, of Russiaville — a worker at High Performance Alloys, Inc., died from "massive" abdominal and chest trauma, and his death was ruled accidental, Tipton County Coroner Bob Nichols told WRTV.
Posted at 3:52 PM, Aug 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-19 06:22:06-04

TIPTON — A plant manager who died on the job Friday will be “greatly missed” by his coworkers, wife and three children.

Elliot Sullivan, 38, of Russiaville — a worker at High Performance Alloys, Inc., died from "massive" abdominal and chest trauma, and his death was ruled accidental, Tipton County Coroner Bob Nichols told WRTV.

Sullivan’s uncle, David Kirchner, said he is also an owner at High Performance Alloys.

“He knew everyone and was friends with everyone here,” said Kirchner in an email to WRTV. “He was loved and will be greatly missed at HPA. I wish for others to know he worked for a family company and was family.”

Kirchner started a GoFundMe for Sullivan to show their support for Elliot Sullivan’s wife and three boys.

While there are HPA insurance policies to cover the funeral, the GoFundMe is a way for coworkers to help the family, said Kirchner.

High Performance Alloys is working to establish a college scholarship fund for Elliot Sullivan’s children.

Tipton police Sgt. Brad Robins said the incident was first reported to police about 7:56 a.m. on Friday at the factory, 444 Wilson St.

Robins said the malfunction led to Sullivan's "unfortunate and tragic death."

Robins added that there isn't a criminal investigation into Sullivan's death. The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident — and more specifically, what caused the machine to malfunction.

High Performance Alloys describes itself as a family-owned and operated supplier, distributer, service center and producer of superalloys. It was started in 1984, according to its website.

The business was recently cited for a workplace safety issue, WRTV Investigates has learned.

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a “serious” violation to High Performance Alloys on June 21, 2022.

IOSHA conducted an inspection at 444 Wilson Street between January 19 to May 9, records show.

It found a grinder was ineffectively guarded, which exposed employees at High Performance Alloys to potentially be “struck-by and caught-in hazards.”

“One or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks,” read the IOSHA safety order. “Examples of guarding methods are barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, electronic safety devices, etc.”

The safety order said the issue was corrected during inspection and issued a $1,350 proposed penalty to the company.

A spokesperson for IOSHA, Stephanie McFarland, said the business participated in an expedited informal settlement agreement and paid a $877.50 penalty.

IOSHA is investigating Sullivan’s death.

WRTV also reached out to High Performance Alloys for comment on Friday’s workplace death and the prior safety order.