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 acquired 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.
Man dies in explosion on Lauderdale Lake while installing pier
Lake Geneva, WI –On Friday April 1 at approximately 12:33 PM the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office Communication Center received a 911 call reporting a boat explosion on Lauderdale Lake in the Town of LaGrange, according to a release from the Sheriff’s Office. Emergency responders were immediately dispatched to the area and deputies located a pontoon type barge on the shoreline off of Stewart Drive with significant damage. Three male victims were located and medical first aid was administered by both deputies and fire/rescue personnel. One male victim was transported to a local trauma center with severe injuries, another male was treated and released and the third male was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Walworth County Medical Examiner’s Office. The three males worked for a local pier service and were in the process of installing a pier when the explosion occurred. The cause of the explosion is under investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office, the Walworth County Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Officer killed in Pennsylvania was 1 month from retirement
LEBANON, Pa. – A police lieutenant killed on duty in Pennsylvania was one month away from retirement when a man suspected of breaking into a family member’s home opened fire on responding officers, authorities said Friday. Lebanon City Police Lt. William Lebo and three other uniformed officers were met with immediate gunfire when they entered the home on Forest Street, Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf said at a news conference. Two other officers were injured and remain hospitalized. The suspect, 34-year-old Travis Shaud of Lebanon, was also killed in the exchange of gunfire. Graf said Shaud had a record of domestic assaults as well as mental health issues.
Accident involving street sweeper on Boonsboro’s Main Street claims life of worker
Boonesboro, MD — A worker died after being struck by a street sweeper in Boonsboro on Friday afternoon, according to a Washington County 911 supervisor. The incident occurred around 1:44 p.m. in the 700 block of North Main Street in the area of the AC&T convenience store and gas station, the supervisor said. First responders work at the scene of an accident Friday afternoon on Boonsboro’s Main Street that claimed the life of a pedestrian who authorities said was struck by a street sweeper. A reporter at the scene observed that the accident occurred in a section of the street that is being repaved. Boonsboro Police Department Sgt. Wes McKenzie said at the scene that the victim was a worker at the scene and struck by a piece of equipment, but was unable at that time to provide details.
Worker dies in trench collapse in northwest Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, NV — A construction worker was killed when a trench collapsed in northwest Las Vegas on Thursday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed. The construction worker who died in a work accident Thursday has been identified as 32-year-old Rigoberto Canas Ramos of Las Vegas, according to the Clark County Coroner’s Office. First responders worked for nearly five hours to recover the worker’s body at a construction site near Kyle Canyon Road and Oso Blanca Road.
Worker Killed in Falling Accident at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, TX
Tyler, TX –A worker was killed as the result of an accident where they fell through the roof of Green Acres Baptist Church. Authorities reported that the incident took place in the morning hours of Monday at the Green Acres Baptist Church off Troup Highway and Sterling Drive. Right now, the cause of the accident remains unclear. Authorities said that there was work being done on the roof of the church when a worker somehow fell through the roof. Due to the fall, the worker reportedly sustained fatal injuries.
Ohio Police Officer Dominic Francis Killed Trying To Stop Fleeing Car On Highway
BLUFFTON, Ohio (AP) — A police officer in Ohio was struck and killed by a fleeing car on Interstate 75 during a high-speed chase through multiple counties Wednesday, authorities said. The officer, Dominic Francis of the Bluffton police department, was struck around 2:30 a.m. while he was setting up stop sticks, which flatten tires, said Sgt. Brice Nihiser of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The chase had reached speeds up to 120 mph. Three suspects inside the car drove away for a short distance before they jumped out and ran. One was found nearby while a second one was arrested in a stolen car in Elyria, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) northeast of Bluffton, Nihiser said.The chase first began near Marion when authorities saw the car going more than 100 mph, Nihiser said. Troopers were unable to make contact with the car, but another trooper spotted it 20 minutes later in Hancock County, he said. Francis, 42, had been an officer in Bluffton the past nine years, said Police Chief Ryan Burkholder. He also worked as a school teacher, bus driver and as a football and softball coach with Cory-Rawson schools.
Worker dies at local Coca-Cola warehouse
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police said a man was killed in an accident Wednesday at a warehouse in southeast Memphis. According to MPD, the accident happened Wednesday evening at the Coca-Cola warehouse on Southpoint Drive near Pleasant Hill Dr., south of Shelby Dr. Investigators said the unidentified worker was killed while operating a forklift..
Construction foreman dies in fall from three-story project in Livingston County
PINCKNEY, MI – A construction foreman died Monday when he fell from the third floor of a residential building still under construction in Livingston County. The 61-year-old man was doing framing on Monday, March 28, in Pinckney when he fell from the third story of the building, suffering fatal injuries in the fall, according to a workplace death notice issued Thursday, March 31, by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Truck driver killed in Hudspeth after crashing into another semi-trailer
HUDSPETH COUNTY, NM — One person was killed after crashing into the back of a semi-trailer about 5 miles west of Sierra Blanca. Investigators say the crash happened Tuesday at 9:26 p.m. on I-10. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, 31-year-old Erick Trejo-Orta of Mexico was driving a semi-trailer behind another semi-trailer driven by 40-year-old Jesus Daniel Sanchez of California. Investigators say Trejo-Orta failed to control his speed and struck Sanchez’s semi-trailer. Trejo-Orta was pronounced dead at 10:02 p.m. Sanchez was treated and released. Investigators say both drivers were wearing their seat belts and winds were high at the time of the crash.
Lawn Care Worker Dies After Electrocution While Cutting Tree Limbs
Houston, TX — A private lawn care worker was killed after he was electrocuted by a power-line while cutting down tree limbs. It happened in the Greenwood Forest Subdivision of Houston on March 28. Neighbors saw a heavy police presence in the 5700 block of PineWilde Drive after the man was killed. Electric and natural gas utility Center Point Energy is investigating.
Pct. 7 deputy killed after her patrol unit was hit by F-550 truck driven by possible drunk driver, HCSO says
HOUSTON, Texas – A Harris County Precinct 7 Deputy Constable has died after a tragic crash on Beltway 8 near Fondren on Saturday evening, according to officials. The deputy was identified as Jennifer Chavis. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Chavis was responding after reports of a possible intoxicated driver on the roadway who callers say had just fled the scene of another crash. Chavis reportedly parked her car on the side of the roadway to wait for the driver in question. Gonzalez said the suspected driver, who was in an F-550 truck with a utility bed, slammed into the back of Chavis’s patrol unit, later bursting into flames. She died at the scene. “She died trying to protect the community,” Gonzalez said. “Grateful for the Good Samaritans that stopped to assist and kept the suspect from fleeing.”
Tree-Trimmer Falls 60 Feet to His Death in Western Michigan
CLAYBANKS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A commercial tree-trimmer died Tuesday when he fell between 60 feet to 70 feet (18.3 to 21.3 meters) feet from a tree, Michigan State Police said. The man died at the scene in Claybanks Township west of Rothbury, police said. The 60-year-old man was from the Ovid area northeast of Lansing. Police did not immediately release his name. The fall occurred around 12:45 p.m., police said. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Hospital employee shot and killed in parking garage on Long Island
NEW HYDE PARK, Long Island, N — A Northwell Health employee was shot and killed in a parking garage on Long Island. The shooting happened just after 4 p.m. Thursday on Marcus Avenue in New Hyde Park in a parking garage that is used by Northwell Health and other offices in the same building. When police arrived at the scene, they found Amelia Laguerre, 33, with multiple gunshot wounds. She was being attended to by medical staff by the facility.
Security guard found dead in Malibu parking lot after possible assault
Malibu, CA — A security guard was found dead in a Malibu parking lot Tuesday morning after a possible assault overnight, authorities said. Deputies responded to the 30000 block of Pacific Coast Highway about 7:15 a.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The call from an employee in the area came in as an unresponsive man surrounded by blood. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Though the man had no obvious wounds, the death appeared suspicious, Evans said. Later, officials at the scene told KTLA the man, described as being in his late 50s, suffered some sort of blunt force trauma to the upper torso. The man was wearing a security guard uniform and worked at the location overnight. Lost Hills sheriff’s station officials tweeted the man may have been assaulted overnight in the parking lot of the Trancas Canyon Nursery.
LRPD investigating an early morning homicide
Little Rock, AR — Little Rock police were investigating a homicide at Pizza D’ Action restaurant Saturday morning. According to a witness the bouncer, who has been identified on the company’s Facebook account as Charlie Willis, was shot and killed after he escorted a customer out of the business.
Security guard killed, another injured in shooting at Team Wellness Center in Detroit
DETROIT, MI – A security guard has died and another was injured in a shooting at Team Wellness Center in Detroit, according to police. The shooting happened around 3 p.m. Wednesday (March 30) in the Team Wellness Center location on Mack Avenue. Police said a man was going through a screening protocol at the center when he shot the two security guards. Diante Davis died, and the other guard is hospitalized.
Business owners discuss safety after father killed in Wrigleyville shooting, alleged robbery
CHICAGO, IL — Local business owners are planning to meet to discuss safety in the Wrigleyville area after an employee from a popular pizza restaurant was shot and killed over the weekend. The man was killed in a shooting just blocks from Wrigley Field Sunday night, Chicago police said. Police said the 47-year-old victim was standing in an alley in the 3400-block of North Clark Street when shots were fired at about 10:15 p.m. Family identified the victim as Hermilo Beltran, a father of two school-aged girls. His widow said he was a hard-working man on his way to his second job as a custodian at Happy Camper Pizza. She said police told her they believe he was killed in a robbery gone wrong.
Roodhouse Dump Truck Driver Killed in Accident
SCOTT COUNTY, Ill. (KHQA) — A Roodhouse dump truck driver was killed today in an accident in Scott County. The dump truck driver was traveling east on Alsey-Manchester Road, approximately half a mile west of U.S. 67 around 11:09 a.m. when, for unknown reasons, swerved off the road, struck an embankment and overturned, according to Illinois State Police. The driver, David Benton, 20, was killed in the accident.
Truck Driver Killed In Washington County Accident
Hancock, Md. (NS) – A truck driver died after a single vehicle crash on I-68 in Washington County. On Saturday, March 26 at around 5 a.m., Maryland State Police responded to the 77 mile marker of I-68 for a tractor trailer that overturned. When police arrived, they found the truck off the roadway, and the driver, Harpal Singh, 39, from Indianapolis dead at the scene. Investigators found that the truck was traveling westbound, and for unknown reasons, went off the roadway and overturned. There were no other vehicles in the crash and the highway remained open.