This week: A 16 year-old, an 18 year-old and a 19 year-old worker were killed on the job last week. 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. 

Paris officials ID man killed in accident with truck

Paris, Texas — In Paris, local officials have identified the man who died in an accident with a city vehicle last week. Ashton Smallwood, age 18, was an employee of RPM Staffing who was assigned to work for the  Public Works Department. No other details were released and officials say Paris police are investigating the incident.

Taco Bell Employee Shot, Killed By Customer Attempting To Buy Food With Counterfeit Money

SOUTH LA, CA  — A fast food employee was shot and killed in South Los Angeles on the job. The incident unfolded just before 11 p.m. Saturday night at the Taco Bell on Avalon and Century Boulevards, when an employee denied the suspect who attempted to purchase food at the drive-thru with counterfeit currency. When that individual was refused service, the suspect opened fire at the employee multiple times, killing him. Another worker was possibly injured. The victim who died was a 41-year-old man.

NJ Police Mourn Death of Officer Killed in Garbage Truck Crash

North Bergen, NJ — A police department in New Jersey is mourning the loss of one of its members who died in a traffic collision Saturday morning. Officer Julio Luis Noreiga was driving into work around 7 a.m. when his car struck a garbage truck, the North Bergen Police Department said. The crash happened near 41st Street and Tonnelle Avenue. Police also said Noreiga’s vehicle caught fire. He was pulled from his car unconscious and rushed to Jersey City Medical Center with life-threatening-injuries.

Construction Worker Fell To His Death In Port St. Lucie, Police Report

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL – At approximately 9:37 am Saturday morning, PSLPD responded to the 12300 Blk of SW Calm Pointe Ct in reference to a construction worker who fell from a roof.  Eber Mauricio-Feliciano was installing plywood on the trusses to a structure under construction when he tragically fell from the roof. Eber was 19 years old and pronounced deceased at the scene. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Semi-truck driver killed in Indiana accident

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — Crews with the New Albany fire and police department are investigating a Saturday morning crash involving a semi-truck that has left one person dead. The crash occurred on Grant Line Road near Grant Line Elementary in Indiana. New Albany Chief of Police Todd Bailey said what they know as of now is that the semi-truck is the only vehicle believed to be involved in the accident. Bailey said the truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene. It’s unknown at this time what caused the accident, but police are investigating.

WI Firefighters Killed in Crash Identified

Mineral Point, WI — The two Mineral Point firefighters killed when their apparatus was struck by a semi-truck on Jan. 6, have been identified. The Iowa County Sheriff’s office said Cpt. Brian C. Busch, 43, and firefighter James M. Ludlum, 69 were killed in the crash on U.S. Highway 151. Busch was the driver of the 2,000-gallon tanker and Ludlum was the passenger. The two had a combined 60 years of service with the Mineral Point Fire Department, officials said. “We’re still just trying to wrap our heads around it. We’re trying to process this,” Mineral Point Fire Chief Bryan Marr told “They were just great people. I’m at a loss. We’re going to get through it, but we’re going to need some help with it.” The semi was driven by James D. Morey, 80, and he was uninjured in the crash. The collision occurred about 12:30 a.m. Thursday when the firefighters were responding to another accident scene.

One killed in Knox County underground mining accident

OAKTOWN, Ind. (WTHI) – Police say one person is dead after an underground mining accident in Knox County. It happened on Friday night at Sunrise Coal Mine in Oaktown. Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom says dispatchers in his county received a call for help around 11:15 P.M. Statement from Sunrise Coal
“An employee with Sunrise Coal was fatally injured in an accident at approximately 10:30 p.m. on January 7, 2022 at our Oaktown Mine. At this time Federal Mine Safety Health Administration, Indiana State Investigator of Indiana Bureau of Mines, and Officials from Sunrise Coal are thoroughly investigating the accident.

Victim identified in fatal Brockport workplace accident

BROCKPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — Officials from the Brockport Police Department say a man died Friday while operating a forklift at Lineage Logistics. According to police, they found that the individual was operating a forklift around 7:30 a.m., and while he was backing up, his body was caught between a pole and the machine. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials later identified the victim as 57-year-old William Spoor of Clarendon in Orleans County.

Los Angeles County firefighter dies battling house fire

Los Angeles, CA — A Los Angeles County firefighter has died after being overcome by fire and smoke while battling a house fire in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., on Thursday. The firefighter was identified by his union as Jonathan Flagler, 47, a 21-year fire service veteran. Los Angeles County Interim Fire Chief Anthony C. Marrone called him “one of our bravest.” He leaves a wife, Jenny, and two sons, ages 15 and 13, the union said.

Truck driver killed hauling load of steel sheet piles

San Diego, CA — The driver of a flatbed truck was killed Tuesday when the load he was hauling smashed through his cab, according to the California Highway Patrol. The accident occurred just before 3 p.m. on Interstate 8 about 25 miles east of San Diego when the truck driver, who has not been identified, abruptly applied his brakes. It caused what was reported to be an improperly secured load of steel sheet pile to shift forward. “This caused the load to penetrate the back cab of the truck and impale the driver,” CHP spokesperson Travis Garrow told FreightWaves. “The sheet pile shifted forward during the brake application. It wasn’t secured properly in order for it to move forward like that.” It’s not clear if the flatbed truck was equipped with a headache rack, which is not required by federal regulations. Flatbed headache racks are designed to prevent shifting cargo from penetrating the tractor cab.

Man, 51, dies after accidentally crashing work truck into Hurst fire station

Hurst, Texas — A driver who police said may have been having a medical emergency crashed into a main electricity feeder pole and into Hurst Fire Station No. 1 in Hurst, Texas, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. The driver later died at a hospital. A driver who police said may have been having a medical emergency crashed into a main electricity feeder pole and into Hurst Fire Station No. 1 in Hurst, Texas, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. The driver later died at a hospital. A 51-year-old man has died after a motor vehicle accident where his work truck collided into the side of a Hurst fire station. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man as Michael Dixon of North Richland Hills. Dixon’s cause of death was ruled to be blunt force injuries from an accident.

Massachusetts Ski Resort Worker Killed in Accident During Snowmaking

Hancock, MA — A worker at a Massachusetts ski resort died when the snowmobile she was on was struck by a snow groomer that was backing up, authorities said Wednesday. The death of Kimberlee Francoeur, 30, of Lanesborough, at the Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancock late Tuesday morning appears to be accidental, according to a statement from the office of Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington. The death remains under investigation and an autopsy is scheduled. According to witness statements, Francoeur was working as a snowmaker and the snowmobile she was operating was stopped on the mountain when the snow groomer operator backed into her.


Ashland, OR — An Oregon Department of Transportation worker has died from his injuries suffered from a fall at a facility on Thursday December 30th, according to a statement from ODOT. ODOT said 58-year-old Wes Hamner was critically injured in a fall from a front-end loader that had just been secured to a trailer. Workers at the facility, located near I-5 exit 6, tended to him until medical crews arrived. Hamner passed away last Sunday at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford.

Worker Dies After Roof Collapses at Pennsylvania Stone Mine

LAKE LYNN, Pa. (AP) — The roof of a stone mine in southwestern Pennsylvania collapsed, killing one worker, authorities said. The collapse was reported Friday afternoon at Laurel Aggregates’ Lake Lynn Mine in Springhill Township, Fayette County, the state Department of Environmental Protection said, and a mine safety rescue team was sent. The person was likely working inside equipment when a portion of the roof fell, officials said. Crews from the company and the rescue team worked to remove loose rock to reach the equipment and move it under “a solid, supported area of the roof” so the victim could be removed. At 3:30 p.m. Friday David Hayden Jr., 49, was about 400-feet deep in the mine when the collapse occurred. Hayden was found unresponsive and was pronounced dead at 11 p.m. Hayden leaves behind three children and a wife. The Mine is operated by Acrosa Construction and Engineering.

Worker dies while taking down Christmas lights in South Carolina town, officials say

CHESTER COUNTY, SC — A worker in a bucket attached to a boom who was taking down Christmas decorations in a South Carolina town was killed Friday when the bucket struck a tree limb, officials said. The man who was killed in Great Falls was identified as Gregory Shawn Tyson, 55, said Terry Tinker, Chester County coroner. Tyson was in a a bucket attached to a boom atop a Town of Great Falls van when the incident happened after 2 p.m. Friday on Dearborn Street, Tinker said. Workers were taking down town Christmas lights when the accident happened, Tinker said. Tyson was knocked to the ground and died at the scene, Tinker said.

Wisconsin Burger King employee’s shooting death prompts manhunt

Milwaukee, WI — A manhunt for two suspects continued in Wisconsin on Thursday, three days after a 16-year-old Burger King employee was shot and killed during an armed robbery at the restaurant. One suspect was an unidentified man who authorities believe tried to rob the restaurant, while the other was another Burger King employee – a felon possessing an allegedly illegal weapon – who was seen on video in a gunfight with the robbery suspect, according to reports. On Monday, authorities say, Niesha Harris-Brazell, 16, a cashier at the restaurant, was shot and killed during an armed robbery while the restaurant was closing for the night.

Illinois child welfare worker fatally stabbed during home visit

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — An Illinois child welfare worker was stabbed to death during a home visit in a town south of Springfield, authorities said. Deidre Silas, 36, an investigator for the state Department of Children and Family Services, was conducting a welfare check Tuesday on children living in the home in Thayer when she was stabbed, according to Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell. (More here.)

Dump truck driver killed in early morning highway crash in Plainfield

PLAINFIELD, CT (WFSB) – A Sterling man has died following a crash involving a dump truck. It happened just before 6:30 Wednesday morning on I-395 South prior to Exit 29. Conditions at the time of the crash were slick due to the freezing rain that was falling. A dump truck had suddenly lost control and crossed into the left shoulder, striking a speed limit sign. State Police say the dump truck then went off to the right shoulder and struck the wire guardrail before going down an embankment. The dump truck came to a final stop after colliding with several trees. The driver, identified as 57-year-old Peter Burns, was pronounced dead at the scene.

NC trooper dies after own brother hits him responding to traffic stop

MOORESBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – A North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper was killed by his own brother in a collision during a traffic stop in Rutherford County on Monday night, authorities said. According to Sgt. Chris Knox with the NCSHP, Trooper James N. Horton was heading to assist with a traffic stop conducted by his brother, Trooper John S. Horton, at approximately 8:58 p.m. when the incident occurred. While nearing the scene of the traffic stop, James Horton lost control of his vehicle and slammed into his brother’s patrol vehicle and then hit his brother and the driver who had been stopped as they stood on the side of the road, Knox said. The driver, who has not yet been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. John Horton, a 15-year veteran assigned to Rutherford County, was taken to a hospital in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he later died, said Knox.

Discover more from Confined Space

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading