Weekly Toll: Death In the American Workplace
Posted with permission from Confined Space, a newsletter of workplace safety and labor issues
Another depressing installment of the Weekly Toll.
Note that there are 39 fatalities listed here, going back, more or less, for about a week. There are an average of 13 workers killed every day on the job in the United States, which means the list below only covers about one-quarter of the workers actually killed on the job over the last week. I’m mainly dependent on news articles that arrive via Google Alerts, so any fatality that doesn’t merit a news article, probably won’t make the list.
Tyson Foods employee killed after being hit by semi in parking lot
HENDERSON, KY –Tyson Foods employee was killed after being hit by a semi in the company parking lot. Glen Hawkins, 59-years-old, of Hanson, Kentucky, an employee with Tyson Foods, was walking into work when a Mack Semi-Tractor Trailer struck him in the parking lot.
One Dead In Construction Accident In Franklin County
FRANKFORT, Ky. — One man died in a construction accident at a home on Switzer Lane. A worker fell from scaffolding on the site where a new home is being built. Sheriff Pat Melton says the crew was inside the home working on the ceiling when something went terribly wrong and one of the workers fell. The coroner has identified the man as 52-year-old Bryan Keith Murray.
Patrons subdue shooting suspect after barber killed in Mount Dora, cops say
Mt. Dora, FL — Patrons in a Mount Dora barber shop held down a man accused of fatally shooting an employee Friday evening, police said. Police got a call about 6:30 p.m. that Wilfredo Nieves, 40, was shot in the head in the Old Highway 441 barber shop near Lucerne Drive, according to Mount Dora Police spokesman Michael Garcia. It all happened after a “confrontation” in the business, Garcia said.
Construction worker dies after ‘workplace mishap’ in Joliet
JOLIET, IL – A Lake in the Hills man died Friday [April 15] after a workplace incident in Joliet. Christopher J. Verstraete was pronounced dead at 9:13 a.m. in the Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center emergency room. Preliminary autopsy reports revealed Verstraete suffered an incised wound to the neck. Verstraete, 33, was a construction worker involved in a “workplace mishap” in the 1100 block of Van Dyke Road, according to the coroner’s office.
Dump Truck Driver Killed in Crash with Fuel Truck
Luling, LA – A 44-year-old LaPlace woman was killed Thursday morning after an 18-wheeler hauling about 8,000 gallons of gasoline smashed into the back of a slow-moving dump truck on Interstate 310 in Luling, according to Louisiana State Police. Chalanta Brown, the driver of the dump truck, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which occurred just after 8 a.m. on I-310 south between La. 18 and La. 3127, near the Hale Boggs Bridge in St. Charles Parish. Brown was driving the 2008 Sterling dump truck in the right lane of I-310 south at a “very slow rate of speed” when a 2013 Kenworth 18-wheeler, driven by a 31-year-old Gheens, LA. man, crashed into the rear of Brown’s dump truck, state police said.
Funeral set for Upstate officer killed in crash
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Funeral services have been set for a fallen police officer with the Spartanburg Police Department. The department announced the funeral for Master Police Officer Jason Harris will take place Wednesday, April 19. Deputy Chief Jennifer Kindall said Harris died Thursday from injuries he sustained from a crash while responding to a call on his motorcycle Tuesday. The crash remains under investigation, but Kindall said early reports indicate a vehicle pulled out in front of him before it collided with his motorcycle.
Sanitation worker dies after falling off truck in west Pasco
PORT RICHEY, FL — They often work under the cover of darkness, coming and going through alleys and near homes. But their job is not without risks. Six minutes before sunrise on Friday [April 14] , a sanitation worker fell off the left rear corner of a garbage truck as it was backing up, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The truck then ran over him. Dantrell Gray, 25, of Spring Hill was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, where he was pronounced dead.
Truck driver killed in crash involving multiple 18-wheelers on I-20 in Putnam
PUTNAM, Texas — A truck driver was killed Friday when his 18-wheeler slammed into the rear of a second semi that had slowed for a third semi parked on the shoulder of Interstate 20 in Putnam.
Worker Killed by Dump Truck at Great Falls Construction Site
Reston, Virginia — A worker was killed in a construction accident Thursday morning [April 14] at a Great Falls site, police say. Investigation shows that 50-year-old Pedro Banegas of Sterling was working on mechanical issues at the front of a dump truck when another worker got into the truck. Apparently unaware of what Banegas was doing, the other man began moving the truck forward. Banegas was struck by the truck and pronounced dead at the scene.
Construction worker, 59, killed in ‘completely preventable’ plunge at Times Square site
New York, NY — A city hardhat plummeted 18 feet to his death Wednesday in what city officials called a “completely preventable” construction accident in Times Square. Jose Cruz, 59, of Sunset Park, was helping remove part of a steel deck from a slab at 1604 Broadway, near W. 49th St., at about 11:05 a.m., when he fell from an I-beam near the second floor, officials said. He died at Mount Sinai West. “We think it was completely preventable,” said city Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler.
1 Dead in Incident at Midlands Steel Plant
Cayce, SC – The Lexington County Coroner’s office has identified the person killed at a steel plant in Cayce. Coroner Margaret Fisher says Corey Thomas Morris, 25, of Murrells Inlet S.C. was killed while working at the CMC Metals plant in Cayce. She says Morris was a welder and that he was not an employee of CMC Metals, but was an employee of another company subcontracted to work at the facility. Morris died at the scene from the injuries he received in the accident.
Construction Employee Killed at Hudson Valley Work Site
RED HOOK, N.Y.— Authorities say an accident at a work site in the Hudson Valley has claimed the life of a 44-year-old woman. State police say the woman was an employee of Jeff Decker and Son Inc., of Rhinecliff, who was working to level a field in the northern Dutchess County town of Red Hook, on the Hudson River 45 miles (72 kilometers) south of Albany. Troopers say the operator of a bulldozer was moving the machine when he noticed his work partner had been struck by the vehicle. Troopers on Friday identified her as Susan Coons from Elizaville in neighboring Columbia County.
Man Killed In Work-Related Accident At ISOFlex Packaging
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A 51-year-old died in a work-related accident at ISOFlex Packaging. The incident happened Wednesday evening at the plant in the 1100 block of Visco Drive. The victim was identified as 51-year-old Timothy Evans. According to reports, Evans was operating a baler when it became full. Both Evans and a coworker were trying to close the baler door when Evans suffered a head injury.
Tractor-trailer wreck in Dickson kills one
DICKSON, Okla. — New details have been released in a semi-truck accident that left the driver dead Tuesday morning. 51-year Billy Summitt, of Thackerville, was transporting a tanker of salt water from Dickson to Wilson, when O.H.P says he ran off Dickson Road and rolled onto the roof of his cab.
Truck pinned driver leading to death
WELLSVILLE , OH — The Carroll County man who died Monday from an accident at the Columbiana County Port Authority’s industrial park was pinned between his truck and the roll-off shipping container he had just unloaded. The county coroner’s office identified the victim as Clifford Foster, 56, of Malvern. Foster drove a truck for Heritage Transport and had been picking up and dropping off shipping containers in an area of the industrial park under lease to Pier 48, which operates a riverfront terminal at the site.
Wisconsin Trooper Killed In Vehicle Collision
Wisconsin Dells, WI — An on-duty Wisconsin State Trooper may have been attempting to catch up to another vehicle when he lost control of his patrol car and was killed early Tuesday morning [April 11] on I-90/94 near Wisconsin Dells, Sauk County Sheriff Chip Meister said Tuesday afternoon.The trooper, Anthony J. Borostowski, 34, of Tomah, “was killed instantly” when he apparently lost control of his car, which left the interstate and crashed into a tree.
Thursday Night Construction Worker Killed
Murfreesboro, TN — Here’s an update on the tragic death of a highway worker who was killed around 5:15 Thursday (4/13/2017) night here in Murfreesboro. 31-year old John M. Gray, III was killed when hit by a vehicle on I-24 eastbound, near the Joe B. Jackson Parkway exit. Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Alex Campbell says that the Millington, Tennessee man was working in a construction zone and was in the median of I-24 when the driver of a 2007 Toyota Yaris, traveling east bound (toward Chattanooga), ran off the left shoulder of the road and struck a worker (pedestrian). That car continued until it slammed into the rear of a 2006 Ford F-350 construction pickup truck that was unoccupied and parked in the median.
Tow truck driver falls to death at I-95 truck crash site
BOCA RATON, Fla. — A tow truck driver died Wednesday morning [April 12] after falling off of the overpass at the scene of a semi-truck crash on I-95 SB in Boca Raton, according to responding crews. Officials identified that driver as 69-year-old Richard Jason Randolph from Boca Raton. (More here.)
Clinton Meals on Wheels volunteer killed after own truck runs her over
Clinton, CT – A 78-year-old volunteer for Meals on Wheels was killed this morning when her vehicle began rolling down a driveway and ran her over, police said. Police said the victim, Carol Moriarty of Old Lyme, was delivering food to the home and parked her 2015 Dodge pickup truck on an incline in the driveway. As she was returning to the truck after making the delivery, the pickup began rolling backward. Moriarty attempted to stop the rolling truck but was knocked down and fell under it, police said.
Snoqualmie Tree Farm worker killed due to ‘equipment issue’, fire official says
SNOQUALMIE, Wash. — A worker [Jacob W. Scott] at the Snoqualmie Tree Farm 26 miles northwest of the city was killed Tuesday [April 11] ]due to an “equipment issue,” the Snoqualmie Fire Department said. According to King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Sgt. Cindi West, the logger died when a tension cable used to transport timber up steep hillsides snapped and struck him. She said it appeared the anchor that held the cable became dislodged, causing the tragic accident.
Dead man discovered at Akron recycling plant
AKRON, OH — Authorities say employees at an Ohio recycling plant found a man’s body on the conveyor belt as they were sorting recycled items. He was found dead Thursday at a facility in Akron that processes recycling from cities and businesses around the region. It wasn’t immediately clear how the body ended up there or whether the man had any connection to the facility. The Summit County medical examiner identified him as 52-year-old David Moran, of Akron.
Injured Fraser Worker Dies; OSHA Issues New Citations
Duluth, MN — A Fraser Shipyards worker has died two months after suffering injuries on the job, an incident that has led to new citations from federal regulators. Fifty-three-year-old Joseph Burch was injured at the shipyard in February while working on the Roger Blough. Family members tell Eyewitness News Burch never recovered and lost his life due to the severe burns he sustained that day. Fraser Shipyards is potentially facing $12,548 in fines after an investigation into the incident by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Worker killed in industrial accident at SteelSummit in Forest Park
FOREST PARK, Ohio – A worker was killed in an accident at a construction company Monday morning. Brian K. Cupp, 46, of Hamilton, was pronounced dead at SteelSummit Ohio on Southland Road, according to a news release from Forest Park police. A 30,000-pound steel coil fell on a worker at the business, according to a call to 911. It pinned him from the waist down.
School bus driver killed in crash with stone truck
DERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. —A school bus driver was killed when a tri-axle truck hit her vehicle as she slowed down to pick up a student Monday morning [April 10] on Route 22 in Westmoreland County, state police said.The victim was identified as Deborah Bopp, 54, of Blairsville. Police said she was ejected from the bus, which was serving Derry Area School District, when it was rear-ended by the truck near Auction Barn Road at about 7:15 a.m.
2 Gym Employees Die After Being Shot by Former Co-Worker Who Was Angered at Being Fired
Coral Gables, FL — Two employees at a Florida gym who were shot by a former co-worker on Saturday afternoon have died, according to reports. Abeku Wilson, 33, was reportedly angered after being fired from Equinox Fitness Center in Coral Gables for workplace violence earlier that morning, according to Local 10 News. Wilson, who was reportedly a fitness trainer, returned to the gym around 1 p.m. and shot his former colleagues, General Manager Janine Ackerman, 35, and Marios Hortis, 42, before killing himself.
Worker killed by tree Thursday identified
San Andreas, CA — The man killed Thursday off Whiskey Slide Road by a tree limb has been identified as Chris Hiser, 21, of Sonora, a press release from Phillips and Jordan confirmed Friday. Hiser was a tree worker working on the Butte Fire Tree Removal Project employed by Leslie Heavy Hauling, a subcontractor. Hiser was killed Thursday morning after he was struck by a tree limb. Calaveras County Coroner Kevin Raggio said he was elevated inside a bucket truck trimming vegetation when a limb from the tree he was working on or one nearby slid down the boom of the truck, struck him and killed him.
Driver of Semi May Have Been Dead in Back of Truck for Days After Being Crushed by Plywood Load
Plano, IL — Authorities say a Missouri truck driver was found dead on Thursday afternoon at a Minooka gas station after he was apparently crushed to death while moving items in the back of his semi some time earlier this week. Kendall County Coroner Jacquie Purcell says 64 year-old Kevin Kealey of Wedgewood Dr. in Macon, Missouri had pulled over at the Citgo gas station in the 17000 block of Ridge Rd. in Minooka earlier in the week.
Worker dies after trapped under steel fixture at Lapeer plant
LAPEER, MI — A 47-year-old man [Rodney Allen Hultz ] died Friday, April 7 after he became trapped underneath a steel fixture inside a Lapeer plant. Lapeer police and fire were called out shortly after 11 a.m. April 7 to Lapeer Industries Inc., 3140 John Conley Drive, for an entrapment of a worker and found the man seriously injured. Employees and officers were able to work together and extricate the worker from underneath the steel fixture. Life-saving measures were immediately undertaken on the worker.
Police: Worker dies in electrocution accident in Danville
Danville, Indiana — A man in a construction lift was electrocuted Saturday afternoon [April 8] in downtown Danville, a police spokesman said. The man, later identified as 59-year-old Chris Goins, was a contractor working at Danville Christian Church near Jefferson and Main streets, said Danville Police public information officer Nate Lien. He was in a lift when he made contact with a high-voltage power line and was later pronounced dead, Lien said. Goins came into contact with the line while he working on the church gutters.
Coroner identifies worker electrocuted in ‘freak accident’
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. —The Greenville County coroner has identified the worker who was electrocuted Tuesday afternoon in what was described by a Highway Patrol trooper as a “freak accident.” Dale Whitmire, of Liberty, died around 2:30 p.m. when he was electrocuted while paving E. Mountain Creek Road near State Park Road. He said appears that a dump truck clipped a power line, while the paving process was taking place, causing the power pole to flex and crack causing the power lines to drop down and touch Whitmire’s body.
Howe man killed in workplace incident
MIDDLEBURY, IN — A 54-year-old Howe man died from injuries he sustained after an incident at Winnebago Towables in Middlebury. Rick W. Schlabach, a lifelong resident of LaGrange County, was killed in the incident Thursday morning [April 6] at the plant at 201 14th St., Middlebury. Schlabach’s son-in-law Doug Smith told our newsgathering partners at WNDU that a co-worker ran over Schlabach with a forklift.
Army identifies person killed in Missouri plant explosion
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An employee who died during an explosion at an ammunition plant near Kansas City has been identified as a 55-year-old Missouri man. The U.S. Army said Lawrence Bass, from Blue Springs, died Tuesday after the blast at the Lake City Ammunition Plant in Independence. The plant makes and tests small-caliber ammunition for the military. It also operates the NATO test center. The plant is operated by contractor Orbital ATK, the biggest maker of small-caliber ammunition for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Alabama Sheriff’s Deputy Killed in Wreck
Lowndes County, AL –A Lowndes County, Alabama Sheriff’s deputy was killed in an on-duty crash Monday morning. Deputy Levy Pettway, who worked as a school resource officer, was driving his 2001 Ford Crown Victoria when it left the road on Alabama 21 in Hayneville just before noon before it struck several tree
Worker killed, man charged in shooting outside poultry plant
BAY SPRINGS, Miss. – Authorities say a Mississippi man is charged with murder in the shooting death of co-worker outside a poultry plant in Bay Springs. Media outlets report 25-year-old Eddie Bernard Davis died after he was shot multiple times Friday morning in the parking lot of the Peco Foods processing plant.
Convenience Store Clerk Shot and Killed in Robbery
Yakima, WA — Vikram Jaryal was killed April 6 when he was working the counter at a convenience store at approximately 2:00 AM. 2 armed individuals entered the store and demanded money. He emptied both cash registers and his own pockets. Perpetrators shot the victim on their way out of the store. (Source: Washington OSHA fatality report.)
Worker Dies in Fall
Aberdeen, WA — Andrew Ward, an employee of Sierra Pacific Industries, Inc., was killed on April 8 when he fell 20-25 ft. from the platform to the surface below, suffering fatal head injuries. The crew of employees were rigging a large control unit from a upper work platform. (Source: Washington OSHA fatality report.)
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