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.
Tree trimmer found dead, hanging from tree 50 feet above ground in Studio City
Studio City, CA — The circumstances surrounding the death of a local tree trimmer, David Cerigioni, who was found dead Saturday afternoon – hanging upside down from a tree, nearly 50 feet above ground – are still unknown. “They did find approximately a 70-year-old male, unconscious suspended up on a tree,” said Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Lopez. Rescue crews, compiled of firefighters and paramedics, were first dispatched to the scene just before 12:10 p.m. on Coldwater Canyon Avenue. The area is located in the hills above the San Fernando Valley.39 firefighters were on the scene, many of which were certified for Urban Search and Rescue operations. In order to extricate the man, they used a rope and harness system and a truck-mount aerial ladder. They were able to lower the man to ground level, where they attempted to perform life-saving techniques, but they said Cerigioni was already dead by the time he reached the ground. The investigators are working to determine if the man or his tools came in contact the utility cables or power line in the proximity of where he was trimming trees.
Worker killed by falling piece of tree in Newark
Newark, DE — 64-year-old tree-cutting service employee was killed after being struck by a falling piece of a tree being cut down while he was working, Newark Police said Monday. According to authorities, the man was working in the 200 block of Walker Way when he was struck by a piece of the tree he and another man were cutting down in the backyard of a residence there.
Norwalk Man Dead Following Industrial Accident In Wilton
WILTON, CT — A landscaping worker was killed Saturday morning when he was run over by one of his employer’s trucks in Wilton. The Wilton Police Department responded to the call regarding a vehicle crash involving a pedestrian near 77 Danbury Road around 10:35. First responders found Adolfo Guitierrez Sanchez of Norwalk trapped beneath a landscaping truck, driven by an employee of the same company for whom Sanchez worked, according to police. The Wilton Fire Department was able to move the vehicle enough to free Sanchez, but he was unresponsive. Life-saving efforts were made, but Sanchez was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ariz. paramedic dies in ambulance crash with tractor-trailer
Salt River, Ariz. — A paramedic died Friday in an ambulance crash with a tractor-trailer on State Route 87 near Mesa, 3TV/CBS 5 reported. State troopers said that another person in the Salt River Fire Department ambulance was injured and the driver of the semi-truck was, too.
Victim in fatal sawmill accident identified
Savannah, GA — A Savannah man was killed in a workplace accident Friday afternoon when he was struck by a forklift that was backing up, the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department said. Raymond Word, 42, was working at Roach Sawmill & Lumber Company at 10300 U.S. 64 when he was struck by the forklift shortly after 2 p.m. Sheriff Johnny Alexander identified Word yesterday evening, after ensuring the man’s family had been notified. Alexander said an attempt to perform CPR on Word was unsuccessful and he died at the scene.
Woman dies at Klamath Falls wood product plant
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – A local woman is dead after what her loved ones are calling an “accident” at a Klamath Falls plant last Saturday. It happened at the hardboard siding plant at Collins Products On Highway 66. Collins’ president, Eric Schooler, tells us the incident is being investigated both internally and by OSHA. Schooler didn’t want to speculate as to what caused the fatal accident but said it happened in the finishing department of the hardboard siding facility at 3 a.m. on Saturday.
Chief Industries worker dies from on-site injury in Grand Island
Grand Island, NE — Nathanel Esquitin, a 24-year-old Grand Island man, died from injuries sustained in an accident March 30 at a Chief Industries facility. Few details have emerged from the incident. Emergency personnel were called to the Grand Island facility, which manufactures steel buildings, shortly before 10 a.m. on March 30.
Holger Molino Falls to His Death at Construction Site on St. Nicholas Ave
Ridgewood, NJ (April 07, 2022) – A construction worker fell to his death at a building site in Ridgewood on Wednesday, April 6th. 45-year-old Holger Molino, a resident of Newark, plummeted down an elevator shaft while on a job on St. Nicholas Avenue at about 3:00 p.m. He was working on a 17-story development that, once built, will be the tallest building in Ridgewood. Molino was moving a plywood board when he slipped and plunged 20 feet from ground level to the basement below. He was taken by EMS to Wyckoff hospital in critical condition but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Volunteer fire chief dies in crash responding to Elwood-area range fire
ELWOOD, NE – Elwood Volunteer Fire Chief Darren Krull died Thursday following a two-vehicle crash with a truck hauling water to a large range fire southeast of Elwood. Around 5:10 p.m. Justin Norris, Phelps County Emergency Manager, was driving a Ford Expedition eight miles north of Arapahoe on U.S. Highway 283, when he collided head-on with the truck. Elwood Fire Chief Darren Krull, 54, of Elwood was a passenger in the Expedition, and died at the scene, a Nebraska State Patrol news release said.Both vehicles involved were assisting in the fire response.
Blackwell oil rig accident kills one, injures another
BLACKWELL, Okla. — An oil rig tipped over, killing one man and hurting another Thursday in Blackwell. KOCO 5 spoke to the victim’s fiancé about the family he’s leaving behind. And federal agents are investigating what happened. The rig is on its side. Officials believe strong winds tipped it over. The rig pinned two men. Jacob State – known as Jack – didn’t make it out alive. His fiancé, Shannan Dewell, said the two have three kids and were planning their wedding. They booked a venue the day before he was killed.
Wichita police identify man killed in forklift accident downtown
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – The Wichita Police Department has identified 32-year-old Brian Weidner of Wichita as the man killed in a workplace accident in the 500 block of S. Saint Francis last Thursday. Shortly before 9:30 a.m. on March 31, officers responded to a vacant business being cleaned out by a crew of three people. Investigators learned Weidner was injured after he fell from a forklift and was subsequently struck by the machine. The 32-year-old was taken to the hospital in critical condition. He later died from his injuries. Police said Weidner’s death is believed to be an unfortunate accident at this time.
Truck driver killed in two-vehicle crash in Fresno County
Fresno, CA — A 60-year-old truck driver was killed in a two-vehicle collision at Brawley and Church avenues in Fresno on Thursday, April 7, 2022.
Construction Worker Dies in Fall Down Shaft at Queens Site
Queens, NY — A worker died after falling about 20 feet down a shaft at a Queens construction site, officials said. FDNY officials said units responded to a building on St. Nicholas Avenue near Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood around 3 p.m. after getting word a person had fallen down a large hole. The man, who was working at the construction site, was taken to Wyckoff Hospital where he was initially listed in critical condition, according to police and fire officials. He later died from his injuries, according to police. Inspectors with the Department of Buildings were at the scene after the fall, and found that the worker was on the ground floor moving a plywood board, when he slipped and fell about 20 feet down a hole into the basement below. Several members of the construction crew said that the worker was in his mid- to late-30s, and had a wife and children.
Construction worker struck by truck, killed
Walnut Creek, CA — A construction worker was killed this week when he was struck by a truck at a site in Walnut Creek, authorities said. Around 10 a.m. Monday, paramedics and Contra Costa County firefighters responded to the 3000 block of Del Hombre, just east of the Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre BART station, for a report of an injured person. When they arrived, they learned that a man working as a flagger to help control site road traffic had been run over by a truck. Despite their efforts, the man was pronounced dead at the scene. A coroner’s deputy identified him Tuesday as Michael Taylor, 62, of Concord.
Truck driver killed in Louisiana after load crashes through cab
New Orleans, LA — A flatbed driver was killed in Louisiana on Monday when a heavy load he was transporting on a trailer came loose and smashed into the trailer cab. Jason Gilbert, 52, of Gray, Louisiana, was pronounced dead at the scene of the single-vehicle accident, which occurred just after 8:30 a.m. on U.S. Highway 90 and Bayou Gauche Road, about 30 miles west of New Orleans, authorities said. “The trailer was carrying a heavy load and as the [tractor-trailer] approached the Louisiana 306 intersection, it slowed for a red light. As it came to a stop, the heavy load on the trailer shifted, causing the straps to break and the load to move forward, into the cab,” a release from the Louisiana State Police (LSP) stated. Police said the flatbed trailer was hauling pile driving equipment. Gilbert was wearing a seat belt, and results of a toxicology test, required in all fatal crashes, are pending, LSP said. LSP did not state specifically whether Gilbert’s load was improperly secured, but said “an unsecured load can be just as dangerous as any other roadway hazard.”
WSP investigating possible equipment failure in crash that killed Spokane semi driver
DOUGLAS CO., Wash – A Spokane truck driver was killed Monday when his semi flipped and its brakes caught fire. The crash happened on McNeill Canyon Rd in Douglas County just around 11:30 a.m. Douglas County deputies identified the driver as 57-year-old Daniel F. Heberer. Deputies believe the truck was traveling too fast to negotiate the turn, flipped and stopped on its top. When authorities arrived, they found the truck’s brakes on fire. The Washington State Patrol is now investigating to see if equipment failure was a factor in the crash.
Construction worker killed at Montrose highrise carjacking was a husband, father to teenage son
HOUSTON, Texas – What started as an overnight carjacking, left a construction worker dead, and another man hospitalized after being stabbed. The suspect was then shot by Houston police and taken into custody. It happened at the Hanover at Autry Park, a luxury high-rise apartment building near Montrose. Family members have identified the construction worker as 67-year-old Carrl Hayes.”It’s a shock. My sister is in shock. That’s her best friend. That’s her husband. They were growing old together, enjoying life and this happened,” said Oren Johnson, Hayes’ brother-in-law. Around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, Houston police say Hayes was working construction near the Hanover at Autry Park Apartments when he was carjacked by a suspect armed with a knife, then run over, and killed.
Electrical worker falls 10 feet off ladder at WPB animal rescue organization, is killed
WEST PALM BEACH, FL — A man doing electrical work at the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League died Saturday morning after falling 10 feet off a ladder, police said. Nelson Palomino Mina, 48, of Lake Worth Beach, was working above the 9-foot drop ceiling at the animal rescue organization’s headquarters when he fell, West Palm Beach Police spokesman Mike Jachles said in a news release Saturday night. Other news:1 dead, 1 in custody after shooting in suburban WPB mobile home park West Palm Beach Fire Rescue was called to the building at 3100 N. Military Trail at 8:18 a.m. Saturday, police said. Emergency workers took Palomino Mina to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he died about an hour later.
Man killed in explosion at a commercial building in north Clark County
Las Vegas, NV — A man was killed Friday afternoon in a fiery explosion at a commercial building in north Clark County, where he was installing vinyl flooring, according to the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office. Clark County Fire District 10 responded at about 2:15 p.m. to reports of a fire in the 2600 block of Northeast Horton Road, which is southeast of the Lewis River Golf Course. Assistant Fire Marshal Curtis Eavenson said a work crew was using a torch to warm up vinyl flooring before installing it, because of the cold temperatures inside of the building. The torch ignited the highly flammable adhesive and caused a vapor explosion. Eavenson said one worker was able to escape before the explosion but another was killed.