Among the end of 2019-beginning of 2020 workplace incidents in the U.S. were employees killed or seriously injured by collapsed machinery, a pallet grinder and an exploding wheel.

Pulled into a grinder

In Nebraska, a 39-year-old woman sustained traumatic injuries to her head, arms and upper body when she was partially pulled into the pallet grinder she’d been working with. The woman, an employee of Tradewell Pallet in Gretna, was air lifted to a hospital by a medical helicopter, where she was reported to be in critical condition, according to news sources.

OSHA was notified and will conduct an investigation.

Also in Nebraska, one employee of Frontier Cooperative in Burr was killed and another received minor injuries in an incident involving a large commercial tire that was being inflated using an air hose. Officials said the steel wheel blew off the tire, fatally striking 49-year-old Paul Sliger.

Company offers grief counseling after employee's death

In California, a longtime employee of Lind Marine, a Petaluma-based dredging contractor, was working atop an unused silo, dismantling its heavy metal casing with a cutting torch. 31-year-old Adolfo Sanchez suffered major chest injuries when a conveyor system collapsed.

Sancez was a plant manager who’d been with the company for 13 years. News reports said his death hit the small company “unbelievably hard.” Lind Marine provided employees with access to grief counselors and chaplains, granted some of them time from work.

The company said it would cooperate with Cal/OSHA in investigating the incident. The agency has six months to investigate the incident and will be interviewing Lind Marine workers and supervisors, and reviewing information about Sanchez’s training and the company’s safety plans.

Injury requires several surgeries

And in Flint, a GM Flint Truck Assembly plant employee was hospitalized after being trapped by a conveyer chain. It took emergency responders 45 minutes to free the worker, who sustained serious injuries in the third shift incident. He was transported to a local hospital, where he underwent at least two surgeries.

Production at the plant resumed after GM cleared the scene.