killed on the job

On average, 14 workers are killed every day in the United States due to traumatic injuries suffered at work. That’s almost 100 every week.  Ten times as many die from occupational diseases, many due to exposure to hazardous substances many years before they died, or from COVID-19 acquire at work.  Needless to say, the few narratives below (gathered from almost 100 Google News searches) do not come close to capturing the toll that work takes on the working people of this country even in normal years, much less during the COVID pandemic. Nevertheless the accounts below gave you a taste of the preventable carnage occurring in workplaces across the country every day. 

Man killed at excavation site

Chili, N.Y. — UPDATE: The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office confirms a body was recovered at the site just after 5 p.m. Sunday. He has been identified as Robert Fallone Jr., 56, of Chili. Officials from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office reported that a worker died at an excavation site on Sunday morning at a residential track on Bellaqua Estates Drive in Chili. Fallone was buried in a ditch and died almost instantly after a wall collapsed in a trench that was approximately 15 feet deep. The trench was being dug to get access to a sewer line. Another worker was also on the scene at the time of the incident on the surface with excavation equipment. Both workers were private contractors.

Tow truck driver killed in crash in Clinton County

CLINTON COUNTY, Pa. — A tow truck driver is dead after a crash in Clinton County. Pennsylvania State Troopers say the driver was removing a big rig from along Interstate 80 near Loganton around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. That’s when a car crashed into the back of the tow truck, killing the driver. The other car then caught fire. Police say witnesses were able to free the driver, who was then taken to the hospital. There is no word on that person’s condition following the deadly wreck. The investigation is ongoing.

Anderson industrial accident kills 1, injures 1, officials say

ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. — The Anderson County Coroner’s Office responded Thursday to a deadly industrial accident. The accident happened around 3:10 p.m. at a construction site at First Quality Tissue, located at 441 Masters Boulevard. The coroner has identified the victim as Felix Esqiulin Pomales, 35 of Charlotte, North Carolina. According to the coroner, Pomales was attempting to bolt two large steel beams together, when one of the beams toppled over and struck him. He died at the scene, the coroner said. Pomales worked for Spirit Construction Company out of Green Bay, Wisconsin, the coroner said.

Semi truck driver killed in crash on I-494 in Eden Prairie

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (FOX 9) – Authorities are investigating a fatal crash Saturday morning on Interstate 494 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. According to the state patrol, at about 7 a.m., a Peterbilt semi truck hauling potatoes drifted onto the right shoulder and into right ditch. The semi rolled over, coming to rest on its roof. The driver, a 58-year-old Minnesota man, died of his injuries.

Employee dies in apparent accident at Ford Lima Engine Plant

LIMA, OH — An employee at the Ford Lima Engine Plant died Wednesday evening in an apparent mechanical equipment accident, the Allen County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Thursday. The victim was identified as Patrick Archer, 50, of Ada, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The case is still under investigation, but no foul play is suspected.

Fayette County farm worker killed in cornfield accident

Fayette County, IA — A Fayette County man died Thursday after being pinned between a corn wagon and his service truck while working in a cornfield. According to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, deputies received a call about 1:48 p.m. about a farm accident in the cornfield north of Clermont. They found Evan Pape, 38, of Luana, who had been working on a corn wagon at 27436 Harding Rd., pinned between a corn wagon and his service truck. Pape was pronounced dead at the scene.

LADWP Employee Dies While Working in Wilmington

Los Angles, CA — A Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employee has died from injuries sustained while working on a project in Wilmington. The DWP released a statement Thursday saying, “This tragic incident serves as a reminder that the work many LADWP employees perform on a daily basis to keep our City running can be hazardous.” The employee who died was working as part of a cable splicing crew performing electrical service work and contacted an energized circuit in an underground vault shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday.

Postal worker dead in fiery crash in central Phoenix

PHOENIX, AZ — A United States postal worker was killed in a fiery collision in central Phoenix Tuesday evening, officials said. Around 6:18 p.m., the Phoenix Fire Department responded to a two-vehicle crash near 52nd Street and McDowell Road. Officials said a United States Postal Service vehicle was pulled over on the side of the road facing south next to a mailbox when a box truck crashed into it from behind. The collision caused the USPS vehicle to catch on fire. The postal worker, 59-year-old Michael Blanton, was pronounced dead on the scene.

San Diego zip line course employee killed after fall

San Diego, CA — A 34-year-old man died Monday, two days after falling about 70 feet from a zip line on the La Jolla Indian Reservation in northeastern San Diego County, authorities said. The man was identified as Joaquin Romero. He lived in Banning in Riverside County and worked at La Jolla Zip Zoom Zipline on the reservation, authorities said. On Saturday afternoon, Romero was working on the “receiving” platform and tried to help someone on a zip line before he fell, according to the county medical examiner’s Office.

Oklahoma construction company investigating after employee fatally falls into silo of hot asphalt

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – A local  construction company is now investigating after 18-year old Robert Sweeney,  fell 30 feet into a silo filled with hot asphalt and died. First responders were called to T.J. Campbell Construction around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning after another employee noticed the man’s absence and discovered he had fallen. The company is now looking into whether the man was wearing proper safety equipment at the time of the fall. “[We’re] still trying to determine what safety gear was in process but there generally would be a harness or safety equipment,” said company spokesperson Jeffrey Taylor.

Tow truck driver killed in crash on Milwaukee’s northwest side

MILWAUKEE, WI — A tow truck driver was killed Wednesday afternoon in a crash near North 68th Street and West Silver Spring Drive. Police said the 57-year-old driver collided with another vehicle that was making a left turn. A passenger in the tow truck was ejected and ran from the scene. Milwaukee police are still looking for that man.

Dump Truck Driver Killed In Rollover Crash On I-90

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — A man driving a dump truck was killed Wednesday when his vehicle rolled on a stretch of highway in southern Minnesota. The Minnesota State Patrol said the crash occurred on Interstate 90 near Windom Township just before noon. The driver, identified as 53-year-old Dean Sinnwell of Rochester, was heading west on the highway when the truck entered the median, rolled and ended up in the eastbound lanes. Sinnwell was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin, where he died.

Kingsville PD mourns loss of officer killed in the line of duty

Kingsville, TX — The Kingsville Police Department is mourning the loss of an officer killed in the line of duty. In a Thursday news release, authorities said Senior Patrolman Sherman Otto Benys Jr. was shot while responding to an incident in the 300 block of South Wanda Drive on Monday. Benys Jr. died Thursday morning at a Corpus Christi hospital from his injuries, the news release stated. Police said an investigation is underway.

Ingalls Shipbuilding worker dies after being injured on the job

PASCAGOULA, Miss. – An Ingalls Shipbuilding worker has died after being injured on the job last week. The Sun Herald reported Randy Wade, a tank tester at Ingalls, was critically injured on Wednesday, October 27.

Police identify man who died after being trapped under tree in Henrico

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Henrico Police have shared the identity of a man who died after being trapped under a fallen tree on Wednesday night. On Wednesday just after 6:30 p.m., Henrico Police and Fire responded to Azalea Avenue and Crenshaw Avenue for a man trapped under a tree. A tree company was working in the area to remove a large tree from private property. Henrico Fire apparatus with Henrico Technical Rescue Team arrived to find a man trapped on the ground by a large tree. The man succumbed to his injuries during the initial rescue efforts and was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim has been identified as 45-year-old Roberto LaMotte.

Father, brother remember John Cain as a loving father, respected coach

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The 38-year-old was shot and killed Tuesday working his job as a hotel security guard
The family of John Cain, the security officer who was killed on the job Tuesday night, will always remember him as a football-loving father with a calming temperament and a deep appreciation for family. But on Tuesday night, while evicting a resident from the Grand Rapids Inn over a simple noise complaint, Cain was shot and killed for no apparent reason. It’s left a massive hole in the Cain family.

Roseburg tow truck driver killed after being struck during vehicle recovery

ROSEBURG, Ore. — Just before 11 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 3, 2021), a tow operator with Walt’s Tow Company was recovering a vehicle on Interstate 5 near milepost 126 southbound, Oregon State Police reported. A commercial motor vehicle traveling south failed to move over for an emergency vehicle (tow truck) and struck the tow truck and the operator, police said. The tow operator, Henry Alan Lichtwald, 63, of Roseburg, died on the scene as a result of the crash

FedEx Truck Driver Killed In Sussex County Crash

Vernon, NJ — A FedEx truck driver was killed in a Sussex County crash over the weekend, authorities confirmed. The vehicle overturned and trapped the driver on the S-turn just north of Lake Panorama on Route 565 in Vernon around 1:20 p.m. Saturday, township police said. Officers responding to the crash found that the driver had succumbed to his injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The victim’s name was not yet released.

Randolph man killed in industrial accident at Norfolk

Norfolk, NE — A 50-year-old Randolph man died Saturday night as the result of an industrial accident in Norfolk. Keith R. Polenske, 50, Randolph, had been working at Continental, 2701 W. Omaha Ave., on Saturday at 5:46 p.m. when the Madison County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Norfolk Fire & Rescue responded to a 911 call from the plant, said Madison County Sheriff Todd Volk. The call was that a 50-year-old man had fallen from a lift and hit his head, Volk said. From witness accounts, Polenske had been working on a scissors-lift, when an automated crane struck the lift and caused it to tip over. This caused the victim to fall to the ground, causing severe injuries, the sheriff said.

OSHA investigating after Dell Rapids worker killed by suspected vehicle accident

Sioux Falls, SD — A federal worker safety agency is investigating after a Dell Rapids woman was killed by a suspected vehicle accident at her Sioux Falls workplace on Friday. The preliminary investigation shows that Marsha Ann Jaros, 49, was hit by a front-end loader, according to a spokeswoman with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The accident occurred in the yard of D&K Lawn Care, where she worked.

Oklahoma man accused of killing employee, burying him under client’s septic tank

GUTHRIE, Okla. — An Oklahoma businessman and former city councilman has been accused of killing an employee in September and burying the man under a client’s septic tank. Daniel Joseph Triplett, 66, of Guthrie, is charged with first-degree murder and desecration of a human corpse, according to authorities. He was booked Oct. 21 into the Logan County Jail, where he remained on Monday. Triplett’s arrest came just over a month after Brent Mack, 50, was last seen alive. Mack worked for Triplett’s septic tank installation business.


3 thoughts on “Weekly Toll: Workers Killed Over the Past Week”
  1. Anytime I see a trench collapse, it makes me sick, especially after my 25 year old son, Zach Hess was buried alive in Dec. 2017. The recent death in Chili NY –what stood out to me is the 15 feet deep part, this is out of the ordinary for a sewer connection OR AT LEAST IT SHOULD BE…. In my sons case, there was knowledge from the developer and the home builder the sewer pipe was 22 feet deep he was sent to connect with one trench box, multiple parties knew this was inadequate. Most importantly none of this was communicated to the excavation company.
    I hope OSHA recognizes this is a multi faceted problem with residential home building and trench collapse deaths
    Cindy Hess

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