Weekly Toll Workers killed

This week: 16 year old McDonald’s worker shot, mine worker killed, workers run over by bulldozers, killed in fire, crushed by machinery and building materials.  On average, almost 100 workers are killed every week in the United States due to traumatic injuries suffered at work.  Over 20 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.

Worker Killed in Fire at Baltimore Fuel Facility

Baltimore, MD — One person is dead after a 3-alarm fire at a fuel facility in Curtis Bay on Monday morning, according to the Baltimore Fire Department. Four employees were working outside of the Petroleum Management Inc. facility Monday when flames engulfed one of them, said Blair Adams, spokeswoman for the Baltimore Fire Department. The individual’s coworkers attempted to extinguish the blaze, but were unsuccessful, and it spread to the building, Adams said. The employee was pronounced dead on the scene. Officials at Petroleum Management’s corporate office declined to comment on the fire. According to its website, the company handles spills of petroleum products, and offers environmental monitoring and other services. The facility’s owner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bulldozer crushes worker inside porta potty at landfill, Polk County says

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — A worker was crushed by a bulldozer while inside a porta potty Friday at an area dump. It happened around 5:10 p.m. at the Polk County North Central Landfill. The sheriff’s office said 40-year-old Aaron Henderson, of Winter Haven, was killed. Henderson worked for CertiTemp – an employment agency contracted by the county, according to investigators. Another CertiTemp employee was operating the bulldozer, explained the sheriff’s office, and Henderson was the assigned to be a “spotter” – responsible for guiding dump truck traffic on the ground. At the end of the workday, deputies say the bulldozer operator was driving up an embankment to park for the night. “While doing so, the front blade of his bulldozer was elevated 3-4 feet off the ground, and he could not see directly in front of him due to the blade obstructing his view,” a sheriff’s office spokesperson explained in an email. As he reached level ground, investigators say the bulldozer driver began turning and heard a loud noise. He then realized he’d gone over a porta potty he didn’t know was in the area, the sheriff’s office said. “He immediately exited the bulldozer and ran towards the porta potty to see if anyone was inside of it,” the sheriff’s office spokesperson said. “At that time, he observed Henderson unresponsive inside the porta potty.” The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was alerted and is looking into the situation.

Man dies after being pinned by log in Dickenson County

DICKENSON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – A man was killed in a logging accident in Dickenson County Thursday morning, according to Sheriff Jeremy Fleming. Fleming told News Channel 11 that around 10:30 a.m. first responders were called to the scene about a half-mile off of The Lake Road in a wooded area. The 911 caller said a man had been pinned under a log. According to Fleming, who was first on the scene, the man was dead when first responders arrived. The deceased logger was identified as Jerry Russel Coleman, 64, of Richlands, Virginia. Fleming said the other man Coleman was with was not injured in the incident.

Sara Lee truck driver killed in crash with wall in Avalon Park

AVALON PARK, Fla. – A 55-year-old truck driver was killed Friday morning in a crash with a wall in Orange County, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The fatal wreck happened around 6:55 a.m. at the intersection of Avalon Park Boulevard and Pellicer Drive at Avalon Reserve Boulevard in the Waterford Trails subdivision. Troopers said a man from an Orlando was driving the box truck south in the left lane of Avalon Park Boulevard when he lost control and merged into the northbound lanes and onto the east shoulder of the same road. He struck a wall, after which he was taken to Advent Heath East and pronounced dead, a crash report shows.

Worker killed in freak Sullivan County accident

BARRYVILLE, NY – A 21-year-old Lake Huntington man, who worked for N.C. Gilbert Tree Service, a tree trimming contractor for NYSEG, was killed when several 50 to100 pound mud mats fell off a cherry picker truck and landed on him. The mats are used for the trucks to park on muddy areas and not sink in. Sullivan County Undersheriff Eric Chaboty said Aaron Terpstra was stacking up the mats after trimming trees at the Kittatinny Campgrounds in the mid-afternoon last Wednesday, February 23 when the fatal incident occurred. He was wearing a hardhat, but went into cardiac arrest when he was pulled from under the mats.

Worker Dies After Trusses Fall on Him at Construction Site

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 56-year-old worker died after a stack of wooden trusses fell on him Friday at a home construction site in western Michigan, authorities said. Ottawa County sheriff’s deputies said they believe the man was unloading the stack of trusses from a delivery truck when they fell on him about 1:25 p.m. in Allendale Township west of Grand Rapids. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. His name hasn’t been released. Sheriff’s deputies alerted investigators with the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Man killed in industrial accident at Tooele County plant

GRANTSVILLE, Utah, March 5, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Tooele County Sheriff’s officials are investigating an industrial accident that killed a man at the U.S. Magnesium plant. Emergency crews were dispatched at abou, 8:21 a.m. Saturday to the plant, according to police radio transmissions, which also indicated the victim, 61-year-old Robert Self from Livermore, California. was near or inside a boiler when it exploded. Emergency responders rushed to the chemical plant, which records show is at 12819 N. Skull Valley Road, Grantsville. Life-saving measures were attempted, but the victim’s injuries were severe, and he died at the scene, according to radio transmissions. Sgt. Light, Tooele County Sheriff’s Office, told Gephardt Daily the victim was a 61-year-old man.

Truck driver killed in rollover crash on I-71

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – The driver of a semi truck was killed after losing control on the Interstate 71 ramp to the Gene Snyder just before 4:30 p.m., Louisville Metro Police Department spokesperson Alicia Smiley said. Brian Scmitt, 45, of Evansville, Indiana, was killed after crashing on Interstate 71 on Thursday afternoon. The driver died at the crash site. A TRIMARC snapshot showed the semi trick rolled over on the side of the ramp. There were no other cars involved, and the cause of the crash is still being investigated, Smiley said.

Lynn firefighter dies while on duty

WILCOX Co., Ala. (WBRC) – A Lynn Fire Department firefighter died Thursday while performing his duties on the scene of a wildland fire, according to a Facebook Post by Lynn FD. The post said Driver Engineer Larry Harbin passed away while performing his duties on the scene of the fire at approximately 1:30 p.m. Harbin was treated by paramedics from Lynn Fire as well as the Regional Paramedic Service. He died at Lakeland Community Hospital. Harbin served for many years as a volunteer firefighter in both Delmar and most recently the Town of Lynn.

Police ID worker killed in Clermont County industrial accident

CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) – We now know the identity of a 48-year-old worker killed Wednesday in an industrial accident at a printing press in Union Township. Eric A. Williams of Amelia got trapped under an industrial printing press at Multi-Color Corporation, according to Union Township police. The man sustained severe injuries and later died. Union Township police detectives and the Cincinnati office of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration are still investigating. Multi-Color is a global printing business and one of the world’s largest producers of pressure-sensitive, in-mold and heat transfer labels. It reported $3 billion in annual revenue last year. Headquartered in Batavia, the company employs around 13,000 workers across more than 100 plants in 25 countries.

Worker killed at Aurora concrete plant

Aurora, CO — A worker was killed at a concrete plant in Aurora after being pulled into a mixer on Wednesday. Aurora police and firefighters were sent to the Martin Marietta concrete mixing plant at 27650 E. 26th Ave. just before 1:30 p.m. for reports of an accident, said Elizabeth McGregor, a spokeswoman for the Aurora Police Department. McGregor said the man was inspecting the rotating arms on the upright mixer when he was pulled into the machine. The incident has been ruled an “accidental death,” McGregor said.

Worker dies after ground collapses near newly dug trench in Shelby County

SHELBY COUNTY, Ind. — A man is dead after he became trapped in a ditch while working in Shelby County on Sunday afternoon. According to Indianapolis Fire officials, workers from HIS Contractors had recently dug a 40-foot long and 6-foot wide hole in the 12105 block of E. McGregor near the Shelby and Marion county line. Officials say the project supervisor was standing on the edge of the trench when the ground collapsed underneath him. The 54-year-old fell into the hole, with mud and debris falling on top of him. Several other workers jumped in and tried to rescue him, but were unable to due to the soil being unstable. Firefighters soon responded and after working for several hours, found the man about 19 feet into the trench. They say they had difficulty removing compacted clay from around the man because water continued to fill the hole and would compress the soil.

FDNY Firefighter Dies From 9/11 Related Illness

NEW YORK CITY — A New York City firefighter who rushed to the World Trade Center on 9/11 died from a related illness more than 20 years later, the FDNY announced Thursday. Frederick “Freddy” Gallagher, of West Islip on Long Island, passed away Tuesday, according to the FDNY and an online obituary. Newsday reports Gallagher was 61. Gallagher served as a firefighter for 26 years, joining Engine 290 in March 1986 and retiring in May 2012 from Brooklyn’s Ladder Company 103, according to the FDNY and the obituary.

Driver of Kansas City garbage truck killed in fiery crash had worked for city for 2 years

Kansas City, MO –Thirty-four-year-old Jamaal McDaniel was identified as one of the two Kansas City Public Works Department employees killed when a garbage truck overturned in a crash and burst into flames, a police spokeswoman said. McDaniel, who was driving the trash truck at the time of the crash, was a two-year employee with the Public Works Department, according to a message the city sent out on Twitter Wednesday night. Another city worker, who has not been identified, also died in the crash. The truck crashed as it was exiting from northbound Interstate 435 onto Front Street late Tuesday morning. A preliminary investigation determined that the driver lost control and the truck flipped over, striking the concrete barrier between eastbound and westbound Front Street. The truck caught fire and thick black smoke could be seen coming from the wreck from the distance.

Authorities hold news conference after officer, civilian killed in I-25 pursuit

SANTA FE, N.M. — A Santa Fe police officer and a motorist were killed Wednesday in a crash on I-25. Authorities said they were pursuing a kidnapping suspect driving the wrong way on I-25 when the crash happened. The suspect is still at large. The Santa Fe Police Department and New Mexico State Police provided an update Wednesday evening for the public. They also identified the officer killed, 43-year-old Robert Duran. Officer Duran is the third Santa Fe Police officer lost in the line of duty.

Man suspected in death of Arkansas sergeant is captured

MAUMELLE, Ark. — A man suspected in the fatal shooting of an Arkansas Department of Corrections sergeant was captured early Tuesday, authorities said. The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office says Demark Lee Jordan, 38, was taken into custody about 6 a.m. Authorities were searching for him in connection with Monday’s fatal shooting of Sgt. Joshua Caudell, a 29-year-old sergeant who was assisting local law enforcement. Caudell, a married father of three children, was part of a K-9 team assisting Pulaski County deputies who were responding to a residential disturbance in Maumelle, just outside Little Rock. Authorities have said someone opened fire on responding officers, and Caudell was struck and killed. Caudell had worked with the Department of Corrections since December 2012.

Suspect wanted in Phoenix McDonald’s shooting that killed teen employee

PHOENIX, AZ – Phoenix police are searching for a teenager suspected of shooting and killing a teen McDonald’s employee in Phoenix earlier this week. The shooting happened at 51st Avenue and Baseline Road around 10:15 a.m., says Phoenix Police Sgt. Vincent Cole. Prince Nedd, 16, was killed in the shooting after he got into a fight with another person in the restroom. Police identified the suspect as 16-year-old Christopher Track, who fled the scene before officers arrived. Track and Nedd were co-workers at the McDonald’s.

Semi-truck driver killed after truck and trailer roll off overpass in Yakima, according to WSP

YAKIMA, Wash. — The driver of a semi-truck was killed early Tuesday morning after the truck and trailer rolled off an overpass in Yakima, according to Washington State Patrol. Washington State Patrol said in their accident report that 60-year-old Dale Lewis from Sunnyside was the driver of the trunk and was pronounced dead at the scene. WSP said the truck was moving Westbound I-82 on the ramp to North 1st Street and “failed to negotiate a curve” and rolled over the cement barrier landing on North 1st Street.

El Paso truck driver killed on Loving County road

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A local truck driver is killed after his rig strikes another semi and rolls over in Loving County, 220 miles east of El Paso. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), 53-year-old Jesus Arturo Ruiz was killed when his 2013 Freightliner side-swiped a 2006 Kenworth, driven by 24-year-old Jesus Moyers-Torres. The wreck happened Sunday night, shortly before 11 p.m.

Medical examiner: Janesville man killed in workplace accident in Madison

Madison, WI — The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday identified a Janesville man who died in a workplace accident in Madison on Tuesday. Dustin L. Gurney, 38, died during a tree-trimming operation near the intersection of Broadway and Hoboken Road at about 12:19 p.m. Tuesday, according to a medical examiner’s news release. Gurney was pronounced dead at the scene from injuries suffered in the accident, according to the release. The company involved was not identified in the news release and whether Gurney was an employee.

Worker killed by bulldozer while working on I-94

BLACKMAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) – The Michigan Department of Transportation has confirmed that a man was killed Tuesday while working on a construction project on I-94, just north of Jackson. According to authorities, the Blackman-Leoni Department of Public Safety responded just after 9:30 a.m. to an area near the intersection of Shirley Drive and Clark Street, where crews were working on the ramp from westbound I-94 to northbound U.S.-127. Police said a 35-year-old resident of Albion Township, identified as Randy Gerald Elliot, had been run over by a bulldozer. Elliot was declared dead at the scene. Authorities said the driver of the bulldozer and the deceased were both employees of Dan’s Excavating and were working on I-94. Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been notified of the incident.

Hoquiam motel employee dies from injuries in stabbing

HOQUIAM, Wash. – Police are investigating a deadly stabbing this week in Hoquiam. Officers responded to a report of a stabbing at a motel in the 2400 block of Aberdeen Avenue on Monday. Before police arrived, they found the suspect running in an alley nearby and took him into custody. Police said the suspect, a 33-year-old man, was being held at the Hoquiam city jail. The victim, a 25-year-old employee at the hotel, was taken to the hospital and later died from their injuries. The investigation remains ongoing.

WV suffers second fatal mining accident of the year at McDowell County mine

McDowell County, WV — West Virginia has suffered its second fatal mining accident of 2022. Steven H. Hively, 52, of Philippi, was killed Monday morning when he was pinned by an air drill at Ramaco Resources’ Berwind Mine Complex in McDowell County, according to the Governor’s Office. Hively had 20 years of underground mining experience and advanced mining certifications, the Governor’s Office said. The mine was operated by Ramaco Resources, LLC, a subsidiary of Ramaco Resources, a Lexington, Kentucky-based metallurgical coal operator. Ramaco Resources said in a statement Monday evening that Hively was a contract employee working underground. Hively was employed by GMS Mine Repair & Maintenance, Inc., a longtime independent contractor for Ramaco Resources, the company said. Hively’s death comes six weeks after a coal miner died at a Marshall County prep plant of the Ohio County Coal Company’s Ohio County Mine. Jeffrey Phillips, 44, a worker for contractor NextGen Industrial Services, died on Jan. 14 after he fell while working above a beltline in the prep plant, according to the Governor’s Office.

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