Weekly Toll

On average, almost 100 workers are killed every week in the United States due to traumatic injuries suffered at work.   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.  The few narratives below (gathered from almost 100 Google News searches) do not come close to capturing the full 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. 

Body of QVC facility worker Kevon Ricks, 21, found after N.C. fire

Edgecombe County, NC — The day after a QVC distribution center in North Carolina was destroyed by a fire, the body of 21-year-old worker Kevon Ricks was found Sunday at the facility. “At approximately 11:30 am, Fire Search and Recover members located a body on the outbound side of the loading dock of QVC,” the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release posted on its Facebook page Sunday, as reported by CNN. “At 4:00 pm today the body was positively identified as 21-year-old Kevon Ricks.” “An autopsy has not been done, but they are assuming it may have been through smoke inhalation,” said Edgecombe County Manager Eric Evans.

Kentucky police officer killed while investigating vehicle on highway

LOUISVILLE, KY — A police officer in Kentucky is dead after being his by a car Saturday, according to the Louisville Metro Police Department. NBC affiliate WAVE reports that Officer Zach Cottongim was standing outside his patrol unit when he was hit. The officer was taken to a hospital for surgery but died.

Bossier firefighter dies after on-duty accident

BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KSLA) – A firefighter with South Bossier Fire District 2 Station No. 4 is dead after an on-duty accident, according to Bossier Parish sheriff’s Deputy Rod White. Officials say Jessie Henry, 28, was working on a fire truck tire at around 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, when it suddenly exploded.

Truck driver killed in crash on Route 22 in Salem, coroner says

Salem, PA — A 32-year-old Fayette County man was killed Friday in a two-vehicle collision along Route 22 in Salem Township, according to the Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office. Ian C. Praster Sr. of Brownsville was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which occurred just before 7 a.m. at the intersection of Route 22 and East Pittsburgh Street, according to Coroner Kenneth Bacha. Bacha said Praster was driving a tractor-trailer truck westbound when he struck a tri-axle dump truck from behind at the intersection.

Man dead following industrial accident in Lackawanna County

MOOSIC, Pa. — According to the Lackawanna County Coroner, Charles Babcock, 47, of Scranton, passed away after an accident Friday afternoon at MIA Products. Officials say he died as a result of multiple traumatic injuries following an industrial accident involving a freight elevator.

Store employee found dead at smoke shop in Ridley Township

RIDLEY TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) — Ridley Township Police Detectives and the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division are investigating a homicide after a store employee was shot and killed inside a business Friday afternoon. The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. at the Empire Smoke Shop on the 1400 block of Chester Pike in Crum Lynne, Pa. Police say, when they arrived, they found Sameer Adbullah behind the counter and shot numerous times.

Worker Killed at Sterling Work Site

Sterling, VA – The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a workplace fatality that occurred just after 4:30 p.m. Thursday at a business on Atlantic Boulevard in Sterling. According to the report, deputies and Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue personnel responded for man who was struck by a marble slab as he and other employees were moving the slabs. The victim has been identified as Serdar Yozgat, 27, of Springfield. Detectives are conducting the investigation in coordination with the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Office of the Medical Examiner.

Texas school bus crash kills aide, hurts driver, 3 students

Hempstead, TX — A school bus crashed on a rural southeast Texas road Friday, killing an adult bus aide and injuring the driver and three students, one seriously. The Texas Department of Public Safety says the Hempstead school district bus with four students and two adults aboard crashed at 12:10 p.m. Friday. Sgt. Erik Burse said the bus rolled over on Farm-to-Market Road 1887, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Hempstead or about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northwest of Houston. It was not immediately clear what caused the rollover, Burse said.

Monterey County employee dies in crash on Laureles Grade Road

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. — On Monday a Monterey County employee died in a crash on Laureles Grade Road. Around 11 a.m., a county employee was driving heavy equipment to a public works job site when their vehicle went over an embankment. According to county supervisor Wendy Root Askew, the employee was identified as Ratu Mori.

Heavy fog a factor as 1 killed, 2 hurt in U.S. 141 crashes that cause train to derail in Marinette County

COLEMAN, WI – Heavy fog was a factor Wednesday morning when a delivery truck driver was killed after his box truck was pushed into a train crossing U.S. 141, Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve said. The northbound delivery truck was in the left lane of U.S. 141 waiting at the signaled crossing for the train to pass when it was struck from behind by a dump truck, forcing it between two rail cars underneath the train, Sauve said. A second dump truck then rear-ended the first, pushing it into the train, he said.

Attempted robbery ends in deli worker’s death in Brooklyn

FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (WABC) — A deli worker was shot and killed during an attempted robbery in Brooklyn Tuesday night. The incident happened inside the Flatbush Deli Corp. Deli Grocery located at 803 Flatbush Avenue around 7:45 p.m. Police say a man walked in with a gun and demanded cash, and a struggle ensued between the suspect and the clerk, 20-year-old Fadhl Moosa, who was behind the counter. The gun went off, and Moosa was shot once in the head and died at the scene.

OSHA investigating worker death at Center City construction site

Philadelphia, PA — Federal workplace-safety regulators are investigating an incident at a construction site near Rittenhouse Square that left one worker dead. So far, few specifics are known about the Wednesday fatality near Sansom and South 24th streets, where five luxury homes are being built by developers Bernier Real Estate Group and OCF Realty. According to Philadelphia Police Department, a construction worker fell and was pronounced dead around 11:40 a.m. On Thursday, the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office identified the worker as Siarhei Marhunou, a former resident of Grodno, Belarus, who has resided in Philadelphia for two years. Marhunou was employed by a company called DBCI LLC. DBCI had been subcontracted to work on the project by the Huntingdon Valley-based construction company Hammers Contractors. Hammers had, in turn, been contracted by the Fitler Construction Group, which was managing construction for OCF.

City worker in La Junta killed by falling tree during Wednesday storm

LA JUNTA, Colo. (KKTV) – At least one death has been attributed to Wednesday’s devastating windstorm. A city worker in La Junta lost his life in service to the community, the town’s manager told 11 News. “The city of La Junta sadly reports the death of one of our city family members during yesterday’s wind storm of Dec. 15th,” he said in a brief statement emailed to 11 News. “While clearing debris from the right of way, he was struck by a falling tree which caused fatal injuries. Our heartfelt condolences are with his family at this time.” The visibly heartbroken city manager told 11 News the worker was a lifelong friend.

APD identifies worker hit, killed by SUV on I-35 frontage road Friday

AUSTIN, TX — The Austin Police Department has identified one of two workers killed Friday in a crash on the Interstate 35 frontage road in east Austin. APD said Jeremy Singleton, 30, was hit by a black 2015 Porsche SUV that veered off the road going northbound down the service road near Teri Road around 9:30 a.m. The Porsche went on to the grassy median where workers were installing road signs where it hit two of them. The other worker killed in the crash hasn’t been identified by APD yet. The workers were with a company contracted by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Delivery Biker Killed In Upper East Side Crash

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — A 31-year-old delivery worker was killed Monday when he crashed his motorized scooter into a parked truck on the Upper East Side, according to police. Investigators believe the victim, Salvador Navarette-Flores, was riding his Jiajue scooter north along First Avenue when he struck a box truck parked in the left lane. According to Streetsblog, the truck was a FreshDirect delivery vehicle that frequently uses the same location as an illegal loading zone. Navarette-Flores was a member of Los Deliveristas Unidos, the group of delivery workers who organized to demand better protections from the city. The street-safety group Transportation Alternatives released a statement Tuesday condemning his death, noting that at least 10 delivery workers had been killed in crashes on New York City streets this year.

Worker dies after shed collapses in Middleburg

MIDDLEBURG. Fla. — The Clay County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a shed collapsed and killed a worker in Middleburg. The CCSO said eight workers from Santos Alvarez Landscaping were working on a shed in the backyard when it partially collapsed. The incident happened at a Penny Lane home around 1:15 p.m. Monday. One worker died in the collapse and no one else was injured, according to police.

Man killed in industrial accident near Hardin

Hardin, TX — An industrial accident near Hardin has claimed one life. The accident was reported to authorities around 10:42 a.m. Monday, Dec. 13, at the Martin Marietta Sand Pit, located on the 600 block of CR 2095. According to authorities, the man died after being run over by his own 18-wheeler. He was getting out of his vehicle to assist a driver in front of him. He had gone to tell the other driver about his taillight being out and forgot to set his air brakes. The truck rolled forward, crushing him. The deceased man was a truck driver who was picking up a load at the sand pit.

Investigation continuing into industrial accident at Worton Road plant

WORTON, MD — The Maryland State Police and Maryland Occupational Safety and Health are investigating an apparent industrial accident Sunday night, Dec. 12 at CreaFill Fibers Corp. where an employee died. The MSP identified the deceased as Sergio Eduardo Aguirre Perez, 28, of Cecilton. He was declared dead at the scene, and his body has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy. Aguirre Perez was a production tech, tasked with processing 22-pound bags of non-toxic cellulose fibers once they come off the auto bagger, according to Toevs. She said Aguirre Perez had been with CreaFill Fibers for less than 90 days. The preliminary investigation indicates that Aguirre Perez was working near a conveyor-type mechanism at the time of the incident.

Noble Co. highway worker killed after being pinned between tractor and dump truck

NOBLE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) A 53-year-old Albion man is dead after a work related accident. It happened around 10 a.m. Tuesday in the 9000 block of West Knapp Lake Road in Kimmell. A county highway department crew was mowing a side ditch in the area when the tractor got stuck. One of the employees pulled the tractor out of the ditch using a county highway dump truck. As the dump truck and tractor came to a stop on the road, a third employee walked in between the two vehicles to remove the tow chain.Then, the tractor accidently lunged forward and pinned the employee between the dump truck and tractor. Medics pronounced Jerry W. Jones, 53, dead at the scene.

Security guard killed in dispensary robbery in South Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CA-The family is saddened by the meaningless death of their loved one, Dominique Ware, who was shot dead in a clinic in South Los Angeles.
“But when this hit me, it tore me to find out what happened to my son,” said Leticia ware, Dominique Ware’s mother. The Ware family said the 33-year-old Ware was working as a guard at the time of the robbery and shooting, but they said he was more than that.

Truck driver killed in crash on I-59 near Springville

Springville, AL — A Boaz man was killed in a single-vehicle crash near Springville on Monday. 32-year-old Rusty C. Richardson was driving a 2006 Peterbilt tanker truck when he ran off of I-59 and hit several trees. The crash happened just before 10:30 A.M. on December 13, 2021, approximately two miles north of Springville. Richardson died at the scene.

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