Congress gets front row look at death in the workplace

A Congressperson looking out the office window or crossing the street to the Capitol yesterday morning could would have witnessed one of almost 5,000 workers this year losing his life in the workplace.  Readers of the Washington Post also saw the unusual front page story of a workplace death.

A man doing work on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol was killed Tuesday morning when a large portion of a tree fell on him, officials said. The man was identified as Matthew McClanahan, a pipe fitter who worked in the maintenance division of the office of the Architect of the Capitol.

The incident occurred about 9:15 a.m. at Independence Avenue and First Street in Southeast Washington. Vito Maggiolo, a D.C. fire department spokesman, said the tree fell from the north side of Independence and landed in the middle of the street. Officials said the tree is an American elm.

McClanahan had two children. He was an employee in the Architect of the Capitol’s Maintenance Division of Capitol Grounds. All that’s known at this point is that he had been working on an irrigation pipe.

Congress Fatalities

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