Weekly Toll: Labor Day edition
Posted with permission from Confined Space, a newsletter of workplace safety and labor issues.
Erie man killed in North East workplace accident
NORTH EAST, PA — The Pennsylvania State Police and the Erie County Coroner’s Office are investigating the death of an Erie man who was killed in a workplace accident at a North East Township business on Friday. The 53-year-old man, whose name has not been released, died after he was hit by a truck while working around a loading dock at Bay Valley Foods, Erie County Deputy Coroner John Maloney said Sunday. Bay Valley Foods is located on Parkway Drive, off Loomis Street east of North East Borough.
PennDOT worker killed in equipment accident
Hollidaysburg, PA — A PennDOT worker was killed Thursday in Blair County after an incident involving heavy equipment. State police at Hollidaysburg reported Friday that troopers responded to a work zone area at about 12:48 p.m. on Juniata Valley Road in Frankstown Township. A Pennsylvania Department of Transportation worker had reportedly become trapped beneath a piece of unidentified heavy equipment machinery. The worker, identified as Bryan Chamberlain, 30, of Imler, had been a passenger on the equipment when, for unknown reasons, the machine “popped out of gear” and began rolling backwards, police said. The driver unsuccessfully attempted to stop the roll and jumped off before the equipment went over and down a steep embankment. Chamberlain was thrown from the equipment and crushed between the equipment and a tree, police said. The incident was described as an “accidental death.”
OSHA investigating worker electrocution death
KINCHELOE, WV — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a 30-year-old man at a job site in Harrison County Thursday.The investigation was confirmed by Blake McEnany, assistant area director for OSHA’s Charleston office. According to a report provided to the state Department of Environmental Protection, the man was electrocuted while working on a generator that runs a water pump to a well pad 2 to 3 miles away. The deceased was a contractor working on a site operated by H.G. Energy Services, the report states.
Concord man killed in roofing accident on Pleasant Street
Concord, NH — Kenneth McKenna, 51, of Concord died Tuesday following a construction accident at a commercial property at 280 Pleasant St., at about 11:32 a.m. Police say he fell approximately 30 feet from a roof and landed on a concrete-like surface below, causing him to suffer critical injuries. He was taken by ambulance the short distance to Concord Hospital, where he later died. “He was a hard worker and a master at what he did,” Lagasse said. “Ken was very serious and proud about the quality of his work. He didn’t let much keep him from getting the job done.” McKenna, previously of Epsom, was employed by Craigue & Sons, a contracting company with an office in Concord. He worked for the family-owned company for approximately two decades.
Workers killed in scaffolding collapse near Disney identified as Hillsborough men
ORLANDO, FL — Two workers who fell to their deaths when scaffolding collapsed at a construction site near Disney World have been identified as a former officer with Plant City man who is a former concrete company executive and a father and stepfather who lives in Seffner. Officials say they don’t know what caused the collapse, which occurred early Wednesday as the men were pouring concrete on the seventh floor of a 16-story hotel under construction. The two were identified as 34-year-old Lorenzo Zavala, a former vice president at S&Z Concrete from Plant City, and 46-year-old Jerry Bell, a 46-year-old father and stepfather who lives in Seffner, the Miami Herald reported. The accident happened just outside Disney property, Orange County Fire-Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said. “They were on the scaffolding, and for reasons unknown at this time, that support structure gave way, sending two workers plummeting to the ground below,” Jachles said. A third worker managed to hang on and climb to safety.
Construction worker killed in Waterville Township crash
Waterville Township, OH — Authorities have identified Nathan Soto as the road construction worker struck and killed by a vehicle Wednesday on eastbound U.S. 24, just west of the Shops at Fallen Timbers mall. Mr. Soto, 42, of rural Napoleon, Ohio, was pronounced dead at 4:10 p.m. at the scene in Waterville Township, according to the Lucas County Coroner’s Office. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday. The crash, which involved a vehicle driven by Michael Massucci, 34, of Waterville, restricted the eastbound traffic to one lane for a time, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.
Electric worker killed in accident in south Nashville
Nashville, TN — A contract employee for Nashville Electric Service was killed while working on power lines on Nolensville Pike. Greg A. Turner, 27, of Anniston, AL, died after he accidentally made contact with a live wire, according to a Metro Police news release.The lineman works for Davis H. Elliott Co. The company had been hired by NES. Police said Turner was working on an electrical pole in the 2900 block of Nolensville Pike. Turner was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he died.
Tree trimmer electrocuted while working in tree near power lines
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A tree trimmer was electrocuted Wednesday afternoon on the job on the far east side of Columbus. The worker was shocked after climbing about 25 to 30 feet up a tree off Forestview Drive. Firefighters on scene said the worker was part of a family business. They said a father and two grown sons were working when one of the sons was electrocuted. They said the victim was stuck in the tree when crews arrived on scene. Firefighters had to wait for AEP to verify the nearby power lines were shut off before they could attempt to rescue him. He was dead by the time they reached him.
Construction Worker Electrocuted in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, UT — A 33-year-old construction worker died from an electrical shock at a job site in Salt Lake City, according to a fox13now.com news report. The victim, Travis Stoddard, was a subcontractor performing electrical work for an expansion being built at the Utah State Archives and Records Service building. Stoddard is believed to have died Monday but was not discovered until Tuesday because he had been working alone. The Salt Lake City Police Department watch command log says Stoddard was last seen Monday by other employees. Stoddard’s wife contacted the job foreman when he didn’t return home from work. The construction worker’s body was discovered on top of a cooler Tuesday morning.
OSHA investigating workplace death in Pamplico
PAMPLICO, SC (WBTW) – OSHA is investigating after a person died on a job site in Florence County. Florence County Coroner Keith Von Lutcken said a person died on a job site on Tuesday morning on Pamplico Highway in Pamplico. The victim died while operating a concrete truck and an autopsy is scheduled for Thursday. Holly Beeson, with the SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, said SC OSHA is investigating a workplace fatality that occurred around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Beeson also said the employer is Concrete and Materials Placement.
Dumpster falls and crushes man to death in East St. Louis, officials say
East St. Louis, MO — A man finishing painting a large waste container was killed when he was crushed by the falling container on Friday morning at a business in East St. Louis. St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye Sr. identified the deceased man as Kenneth J. Woltering, of Carlyle. Dye said Woltering was underneath the dumpster putting primer on it when the accident occurred. He said, “It appears the jack that was supporting the dumpster fell.” Former employees of Wastequip, where a man was killed Friday, have raised questions on whether the lift that he was working under had been properly inspected or maintained — but Wastequip officials said they could not comment on the matter pending an investigation.
Coast Guard suspends search for barge worker who fell in river near Donaldsonville
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – The Coast Guard has suspended their search for a barge worker who fell in the Mississippi River somewhere near Donaldsonville Thursday morning. They announced they’d suspended the search around 4:30 p.m. Friday. According to the Coast Guard, the worker fell into the Mississippi River from a barge near Donaldsonville in Ascension Parish. They say they searched about 46 square miles for 18 hours.
Pizza delivery worker stalked and fatally shot in the head outside Papa John’s in Harlem
New York, NY — A pizza delivery worker was fatally shot in the head outside a Harlem Papa John’s Wednesday night, police sources said. A shooter opened fire on 37-year-old Jose Alvarado outside the pizzeria on Amsterdam Ave. at W. 145th St. about 10:30 p.m., police said. “There was a single shot. It was really loud, like a bottle being dropped from the eighth floor,” said a witness, who only gave his first name, Mohammed. “He was laying on his left side. The blood was coming from the front of his head. He had to have seen the guy who shot him.”
Construction Worker Charged With Criminal Homicide In Co-Worker’s Death
FRANKLIN, Tenn. – A Columbia man has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of a co-worker. The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office said the incident happened on August 22 when 29-year-old Johnny Kelley allegedly threw a paver stone at 26-year-old Ciro Alberto Silva. According to investigators, the two men were part of a construction crew that was working at a home in Thompson’s Station. The victim suffered head injuries and was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Kelly was initially charged with aggravated assault in the case. However, that charge was upgraded after Silva died Tuesday night.
New Lenox man killed after being pinned between trucks
Bolingbrook, IL — A 55-year-old New Lenox man died Tuesday after an unoccupied truck rolled into him, pinning him between two trucks at a Bolingbrook food product supply company. Emergency crews responded about 6:08 p.m. Tuesday to Vistar Illinois Division-Performance Food, in the 100 block of East Crossroads Parkway in Bolingbrook, for a pinned truck driver, Bolingbrook police Lt. Anthony Columbus said. Thomas Mulka suffered critical injuries, and Will County Coroner’s Office officials declared him dead on the scene. Mulka’s death comes the day after a worker was killed when a steel beam he was moving slipped and hit him in the head at AZZ Galvanizing on Mills Road.
Worker killed when steel beam slips
East Joliet, IL — A worker was killed when a steel beam he was moving slipped and hit him in the head, police said. Adrian Mejia-Soto, 32, was working at AZZ Galvanizing on Mills Road when he was fatally injured Monday morning, police said. Deputies were called to the plant in Joliet Township about 9 a.m., said Deputy Chief Tom Budde of the sheriff’s office. East Joliet firefighters were on the scene when the deputies arrived. “It appears that a steel beam struck one of the employees,” said Lt. Matt Groher with the East Joliet Fire Department. “He was transported to Silver Cross Hospital with pretty critical injuries.”
City employee confirmed dead in backhoe accident
PRINCETON, WV – A Princeton city official confirmed Tuesday that a city employee died Monday in an accident behind Princeton Towers along Stafford Drive. City Manager Michael V. Webb said the man was a part-time city employee. When the accident occurred, he was clearing city property located behind the Princeton Tower’s apartment building. The project is part of the city’s plans to turn the former Dean Company factory into a new municipal complex. The victim was identified as Robert “Bobby” Thomason, according to Captain B.R. Woodard of the Princeton Police Department.
Worker Killed By Bulldozer
Palm Springs, CA — A man is dead after getting run over by a bulldozer in Jurupa Valley. He reportedly died after the incident Monday near Market Street and Agua Mansa Road. Officials did not immediately release the details surrounding his death.
Worker dies after getting hit by semi truck in North Naples
Naples, FL — A Naples man has been killed after being hit by a semi-truck while working on a U.S. 41 median in North Naples on Monday. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a semi-truck was traveling south on the inside lane of U.S. 41 near 102nd Avenue North when a man, who had been working on a landscaped median, stepped onto the road, entering the path of the large vehicle. After being stuck by the front-left side of the truck, 36-year old Jose Ruben Velez Padilla of Naples landed in the median south of the collision. The man was transported to North Collier Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The FHP report states that no charges are currently pending in the collision.
Truck driver killed after hitting I-26 bridge column, SC troopers say
ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC — A truck driver was killed after hitting a bridge column on Interstate 26 early Tuesday, according to troopers. The deadly crash happened around 4 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of I-26 near mile marker 151 in Orangeburg County, according to Lance Cpl. Judd Jones of the S.C. Highway Patrol. A 2007 Freightliner truck was traveling east when the truck went off the right side of the road and hit a bridge column, Jones said. The driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected and died at the scene.
Truck driver killed in roll over accident
FAIRBANKS, Alaska – A truck, owned and operated by Colville Transportation, was travelling towards Prudhoe Bay when it went off the road and rolled down an embankment at milepost 382.5 on Friday, August 24. A press release from Colville Transportation states the driver, Joy Wiebe of Fairbanks, died at the scene. According to Colville, roughly 700 gallons of diesel fuel spilled, with over half recovered, and efforts in place to collect the remaining 273 gallons. However, according to Laurie Silfven, with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, over 17 hundred gallons were spilled. Silfven says what was unable to be recovered will be removed.
Truck Driver Killed in Fiery California Crash Was Beloved Father
Hawthorne, CA — A truck driver killed when an out-of-control SUV slammed into it in California on Aug. 24, was a beloved father, his family said. Leo Cabrera was driving a double fuel tanker on the 105 Freeway through Hawthorne at about 5:15 a.m. local time when he was hit by a Land Rover that was swerving in and out of traffic before the crash. Both vehicles then smashed into the center divider and burst into flames, killing Cabrera and the driver of the SUV. Video footage showed the vehicles on fire and traffic backed up for miles due to part of the freeway being shut down for over half a day. Cabrera was married and leaves behind three young children, his wife Linda said in a statement obtained by ABC 7.
Construction worker killed in Hawthorne Road crash
Gainesville, FL — Gainesville Police are investigating a fatal Monday morning crash on Hawthorne Road involving two vehicles and a pedestrian. Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brett Rhodenizer, who was assisting with public information officer duties for the police department, said police got a call at 7:47 a.m. about the accident. Rhodenizer confirmed Monday morning the pedestrian who was killed had been working on a construction project on the road. The worker hasn’t yet been identified, pending next-of-kin notification. Rhodenizer said it appears that a driver traveling in the westbound lanes lost control of their vehicle, crossed over the median and then likely hit the construction worker and the other car. Rhodenizer said he wasn’t sure who the pedestrian worked for.
Child services employee shoots and kills herself inside Paramus office
PARAMUS, NJ — A Division of Child Protection and Permanency employee (Doreen Kane) shot and killed herself inside the state office Monday morning, police said. The unidentified 57-year-old woman was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, said Paramus Police Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg. The employee shot herself with a handgun inside her office, Ehrenberg said. For some of Kane’s former co-workers, like Alan Machbitz, who was a supervisor at the child protection agency in Paterson, it was hard to understand Kane’s suicide, but not the day-to-day stress that social workers endure. “No one other than CPS staff understand the stress put upon front-line child protection workers and supervisors who have to work within the confines of a data-driven environment,” Machbitz wrote in an email. “Where ‘the numbers’ are paramount over and above successful outcomes.”
Retired FDNY firefighter dies from 9/11-related cancer
New York, NY — A retired FDNY firefighter has died from a September 11th-related cancer. Staten Island native Jimmy Martinez spent weeks helping in the recovery efforts at the World Trade Center following the attacks. Martinez died Thursday from bone marrow cancer caused by toxins from the attack. He was 58 years old. Martinez, who retired from the FDNY in 2016, is one of more than 170 firefighters who have died from 9/11-related illnesses, according to the association.