Posted with permission from Confined Space, a newsletter of workplace safety and labor issues.
Tree trimmer dies in accident at Stanford housing complex
Palo Alto, CA — A 36-year-old man died while working on trees at a Stanford University housing complex in Palo Alto on Saturday afternoon, Palo Alto fire officials said Monday. He has been identified as Jesus Silva Romero of San Jose, according to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office. One dispatch report indicated Romero had been in a tree with a chainsaw, Battalion Chief Bobby Davis said. Romero was found laying on the ground next to a tree roughly 30 feet tall and visible from Sand Hill Road. A search of online Department of Labor records showed the state agency opened five investigations into Arborwell Inc. over the past five years. The employee was a foreman for Arborwell and died in “climbing-related accident,” company spokesman Larry Kamer said in an email Monday night. “This is the first employee fatality we have ever had in our company’s history, and we are shocked and saddened by this terrible tragedy,” Kamer said.
Sound Transit contract worker killed in fall at construction site
Seattle, Wa — A Sound Transit contract worker died after falling 30 to 40 feet Tuesday morning. The worker fell at a construction site on eastbound State Route 520 near 148th Avenue Northeast in Bellevue, according to the Washington State Patrol. The accident occurred in the area where girder construction is being done for the new east link light rail. “It’s an unfortunate accident,” Sound Transit spokesperson Rachelle Cunningham said. “And I think we’ll be looking into what actually occurred.” The worker fell off a pier cap where a girder was being placed around 2:40 a.m.
After zero deaths in 2017, Caterpillar reports factory fatality in Wisconsin
DEERFIELD, WI — Within days of reporting improved safety results and zero fatalities in 2017, Caterpillar Inc. recorded the death of a production worker at a Wisconsin facility — the second fatality at the factory in seven years. The 60-year-old employee sustained “traumatic crushing injuries” May 10 when he was struck by a steel plate in the weld shop area of Caterpillar’s South Milwaukee plant, according to the company and local authorities. Steven E. Wade, a welder who worked at the plant for 23 years, died May 15 at an area hospital, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office and local media accounts. “Our thoughts and prayers are with this employee’s family, friends and co-workers. The company has arranged for counseling to be available to employees who may request it,” the company wrote in a prepared statement.
Funeral for Kmart worker killed in stabbing is Monday
Coroner: Asphyxia killed S. Indiana power plant worker
NEW ALBANY, IND. A coroner says a worker died of asphyxiation in an accident at a Duke Energy power plant in southern Indiana. Clarence R. Sieveking Jr. was pronounced dead Monday following the accident at Duke Energy’s Gallagher Station power plant in New Albany. Floyd County’s deputy coroner confirmed in an autopsy released Thursday that the 65-year-old Sieveking died in an industrial accident. Authorities have not described the circumstances of the accident.
Gas-station worker killed during apparent robbery
WYOMING, MI – A gas-station clerk was shot and killed early Monday, May 21, in an apparent holdup, police said. The victim was a woman, about 50 years old. She died at the scene. She was found just after 6 a.m. by the owner of the Marathon station, at 28th Street SW and Buchanan Avenue, as he showed up for work, Wyoming police Lt. Timothy Pols said.
Police identify Pigeon Forge construction worker killed by falling sign
Pigeon Forge, TN — Authorities have released the identity of a construction worker who was struck by a falling sign in Pigeon Forge. Ancelmo Velazquez Rivera, 48, of Morristown, died Thursday.
Federal agency will investigate workplace death of lightning-strike victim in Parkland
Deerfield Beach, Fl — A federal agency will investigate the death of a Lake Worth woman who officials say was killed by lightning while working in a Parkland farm field. Maria Francisco Pascual and two other people were in the field Wednesday when the bolt of lightning came, killing her. The two other people were injured; they identified late Thursday as Blanca Alvarenga, who is in her 40s, and Alfonzo Ordonez, who is in his 20s.
Baltimore County police officer killed after confrontation; one suspect in custody
Perry Hall, MD — Baltimore County police officer was killed in a confrontation Monday as she responded to an afternoon call in Perry Hall, setting off an hours-long manhunt for suspects as police searched densely populated suburban neighborhoods. On Tuesday morning, the department said a 16-year-old boy was arrested shortly after the confrontation with the officer. Police are still seeking three other people in connection with the killing. Charging documents identify the officer as Amy Caprio, a four-year veteran of the police department.
Tree Worker Killed On The Job Was 51-Year-Old Father Of 6
RICHFIELD, Minn. (WCCO) — A man suddenly killed at a landscaping job leaves behind six children and a community that considered him family. Police say 51-year-old Bill Pipes was killed Wednesday when a fellow landscaper was trying to unclog a wood chipper. A piece of metal flew off and hit him in the head. Bratvold says he too wants to know what went wrong and believes it could have been prevented, because he thinks the employee working alongside Pipes tried unclogging the machine with the machine still turned on. “The unit should have been shut off before opening the disc,” Bratvold said.
21-year-old contract worker killed when truck overturns in Soddy-Daisy highway work zone
Chattanooga, TN — Tennessee Highway Patrol officials say an employee working for a contractor at a state project on State Route 111 was killed Thursday morning when a southbound semitractor-trailer loaded with coal overturned in a work area near the Hamilton-Sequatchie county line. The big rig flipped onto its side, hitting Christopher Harden, 21, of Rossville, Georgia, who was standing in the construction zone, THP spokesman Sgt. Alan Bailey said Thursday via email. The tractor-trailer was driven by 33-year-old Jason Canada, of Albany, Kentucky. Canada was taken to Erlanger hospital by ambulance, Bailey said. The truck is owned by Double Dee Trucking out of Albany, he said.
Man dies at Sappi paper mill in Cloquet
Cloquet, MN — Authorities are investigating the death of a worker at the Sappi paper and pulp mill in Cloquet on Tuesday. “We are shocked and saddened to confirm the death of Mr. Ryan Martin,” corporate spokeswoman Olga Karagiannis wrote in an email Wednesday. “Sappi is investigating and working with authorities to understand the cause of death.” Cloquet police and fire crews were called to the mill just before 5 p.m. Tuesday on the report of a man down, according to a statement from police. The 53-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. The Cloquet mill last had a fatality in 2003, when 47-year-old Kerry Roe died while doing maintenance work on electrical equipment in the finishing department. Sappi later paid a $50,000 fine under an OSHA settlement.
OSHA investigation underway following construction worker’s death
BOSTON, MA – An OSHA investigation is underway after a construction worker fell and died on a job site in East Boston last week. The victim, from Worcester, was working on the framing of a building on Paris Street May 7, where a new 32-unit building called Paris village is going up. A spokesperson for his union says he was up on one of the top levels of the building when he fell four stories. The New England Regional Council of Carpenters has identified the victim as 48-year-old Jose Rodriguez of Worcester. Video from Sky25 showed a harness behind crime scene tape at the construction site. Rodriguez was working for a company out of Lunenburg called Northeast Framing.
Mississippi Police Officer Killed in Fiery Wreck
Raleigh, MS – A Raleigh, Mississippi police officer was killed in a fiery crash while on duty Thursday. Officer E.P. Morris’ patrol car left the roadway and struck a tree before becoming engulfed in flames around noon on Highway 18 within the city limits of Raleigh, according to The Clarion Ledger. The veteran officer was pronounced dead on the scene.
Pen Argyl man dies while doing work at Lower Nazareth church
LOWER NAZARETH TOWNSHIP, Pa. – A Pen Argyl man died at a Lower Nazareth church Tuesday afternoon while working. According to Northampton County Coroner Zach Lysek, his office was called around 1 p.m. to Life Church located at 4609 Newburg Road in reference to a deceased man.The man has been identified as Aldwin Bobb, 76, of Pen Argyl. The coroner says Bobb died in an attic crawl space while he was doing some electrical work. It’s unclear what killed the man.
Man dies in apparent accident at McCampbell Airport
ARANSAS PASS, TX – A contract worker is dead in an apparent accident at the Aransas Pass Airport. It happened just before noon at the McCampbell Airport along FM 3512 in Aransas Pass. According to San Patricio County Sheriff Leroy Moody, a 42-year-old contract worker fell to his death while making repairs on a plane hangar. San Patricio County deputies are at the scene and are awaiting a Justice of the Peace to arrive. The victim’s identity has not been released yet. There’s no word yet on what led to the fall. Currently, authorities say it appears to be just an accident but they are ordering an autopsy out of precaution.
Jacksonville police officer killed in traffic crash
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A police officer has died following a fatal crash in Florida. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said during a news conference Tuesday morning that the officer was responding to a traffic crash on Interstate 295 around 4:30 a.m. when he crashed his patrol vehicle.
Mountain City man dies at Shoun Lumber
Butler, TN — A Mountain City man died at the Shoun lumberyard, a large sawmill in Butler, TN, last week when he reportedly fell on a saw. According to Johnson County Sheriff Mike Reece, Mountain City resident Edward Maines, 40, an employee at the company was on the job when he was found dead at the scene around 5 p.m. Thursday, May 10, at Shoun Lumber, 147 George Shoun Lane. “Upon arrival investigators found that Maines had an accident at the mill,” Reece said, adding, “He had fallen on a saw, and was deceased.”
Road crew worker killed after being hit by driver, Fort Worth police say
FORT WORTH, TX — A road crew worker was killed Tuesday morning after being hit by what was initially suspected to be a driver under the influence, police said. The motorist was taken into custody but released after police determined the driver has a medical condition which caused the accident, police said Tuesday afternoon. The victim was Phillip Szurgot, age 45, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner.
Washington man dies in accident at Mat-Su landfill
Anchorage, AK — A man was killed by machinery in a work-related accident Monday morning while working at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s Central Landfill, officials said. Alaska State Troopers identified the man killed in an industrial accident as Lorin R. Ellsworth, 59 of Moses Lake, Washington. Ellsworth was employed by a contractor that was baling scrap metal at the landfill, 1201 N. 49th State Street in Palmer, according to a borough statement. He was crushed by the scrap metal baling machinery, Alaska State Troopers said Monday.
Man dies in industrial accident after falling from roof, police say
NORFOLK, VA — A man died Monday morning after falling from a roof in what police are calling an industrial accident. The man – whose name has not yet been released – died on scene. Norfolk Fire-Rescue responded around 6:50 a.m., police said, for a report of a man who fell from a roof. He fell from the roof of Tidewater Insulators, located at 5610 E. Virginia Beach Boulevard, according to Norfolk police spokesman Cpl. William Pickering. The corporal said that police are continuing to sort out what happened. He said police were initially told the man was working on the roof. The parent company of Tidewater Insulators, Ohio-based Installed Building Products, is aware of what happened and is working with police, according to Kelly Riehl, a spokeswoman.