5th Anniversary of West Fertilizer Explosion: Lessons Learned and Not Learned

Five years ago tonight a fire broke out at the West Fertilizer company in West, Texas. Emergency responders rushed toward the facility which contained 40 to 60 tons of fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate, but twenty minutes later a massive explosion ripped through the building killing 12 responders and three others, injuring 252 and damaging or destroying…

Weekly Toll: Mourning for the Dead

Two Fatalities Confirmed in Helicopter Crash Near Smethport Keating Twp, PA — Two workers were killed when a helicopter performing maintenance on power lines crashed late Sunday afternoon 1.5 miles north of Smethport Borough in Keating Township.  The fatalities confirmed by State Police at the Kane barracks and McKean County Coroner Michael Cahill.  A third person in the helicopter, believed…

Weekly Toll: Public employees, workplace violence and death in a tire-shredder

I’ve been away, so it’s a long, depressing list this week. Lowlights include 11 public employees in states that don’t have OSHA coverage – Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Florida, Colorado, Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio: Highway workers, police, firefighters. PennDOT worker killed in I-99 crash LOGAN TOWNSHIP, PA — State police at Hollidaysburg are investigating a…

Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Battle for Safe and Health Workplaces: Short Stuff

The moral of this week’s stories is that if you find yourself eating pork chops at your fancy seaside hotel in a hurricane ravaged part of Florida, you need to re-evaluate your life. Trumpworld to Government Scientists: No Science for You! This falls into “The Onion or Real News” category. Imagine my alarm when I…

5 Workers Dead in Gas Rig Explosion at Company with History of Safety Problems

Five gas rig workers are presumed dead after an explosion  gas rig in Quinton, OK.  The names of the employees are Matt Smith of McAlester, Parker Waldridge of Crescent and Roger Cunningham from Seminole — and two from neighboring states, Josh Ray of Fort Worth, Texas; and Cody Risk of Wellington, Colorado. For much of the…

Weekly Toll: Tow Truck Drivers, Cops, Truck Drivers, School Workers — Not Coming Home

Much-Loved Tow Driver Killed While Helping Stranded Motorist Saginaw, MI — For many, tow-truck driving may not seem like a very hazardous occupation. But according the owner of one tow-truck company, one tow truck driver gets killed almost every six days in the United States.For him, it’s not just a statistic. On Wednesday, Jan. 10, one…

Weekly Toll: Last Workers to Die in 2017. Let’s hope 2018 is better

Bad couple of weeks for workers in Kansas and firefighters across the country. Also two trench deaths and a food processing worker whose leg was ripped off. Last list of workers killed during 2017. Good Riddance. Let’s hope for a better 2018. Man Killed Loading Road Salt at Kentucky Facility Identified LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) —…

The Weekly Toll: More Workers Not Coming Home

Firefighter battling SoCal wildfire dies from ‘thermal injuries, smoke inhalation’ SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — A firefighter died Thursday while working a colossal wildfire burning in coastal mountains northwest of Los Angeles that has become the fourth largest in California history. Cory Iverson was an engineer with a state fire engine strike team based in…