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.
Firefighter Is Killed When Ceiling Collapses in Brooklyn House Fire
Brooklyn, NY — A firefighter was killed after a ceiling gave way in a fire at a home in Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon and another person inside the home was also killed, city officials said. The firefighter who died, Timothy Klein, 31, of Queens, had worked for the Fire Department for six years, Mayor Eric Adams said at a news conference later at Brookdale Hospital. Mr. Klein died when the second floor of the two-story house in Canarsie became engulfed in flames, and the ceiling partially collapsed, fire officials said. He was the second New York City firefighter to die in the line of duty this year.
Security guard killed outside Orange Mound club
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A security guard is dead after an overnight shooting at a club in Orange Mound Sunday. The shooting happened in the 2700 block of Park Avenue outside of a club around 4:20 a.m. Family members said the victim was Vincent Lasane, Jr. and he recently started the job. “All I know is he had done his job, was fixing to leave and when he walked to come out the door to get his car, he was shot instantly,” Lasane Jr.’s niece said. “It was shell casings everywhere, and he wasn’t the only person that was shot but he was the only person that was deceased on the scene.”
Cayce officer killed in the line of duty Sunday morning, suspect took own life during negotiations
COLUMBIA, S.C. -Officials confirmed Officer Drew Barr was killed in the line of duty Sunday morning. Barr and two other officers were dispatched at around 2:48 a.m. on reports of a domestic disturbance on Rossmore Drive. They said the male suspect opened fire on the officers after they encountered the man on the lawn of the home. The coroner’s office identified the suspect as a man named Austin Henderson. Mayor Elise Partin said. “Officer Drew Barr has been an important part of the Cayce family since 2016. All of our Cayce officers, our Cayce team and our Cayce citizens mourn with Officer Barr’s family.”
Local man dies after industrial accident
JEROME, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — A local man is dead after an industrial accident in Jerome Friday. Jerome Police Department confirmed a local man died in an industrial accident at the Old Hickory Sheds factory located at 901 South Lincoln in Jerome. Details have not been released at this time as the incident is currently under investigation.
Golf course landscaper hit and killed by suspect in stolen truck
SAN LEANDRO, Calif. – A San Leandro golf-course landscaper was hit and killed by a man driving a stolen pickup truck, authorities said. “It makes me sick. It almost — It makes me rage,” said John Jorgensen, golf course superintendent at Monarch Bay Golf Club, where staffers are mourning the loss of longtime employee Ismael Hernandez. On Monday afternoon, Hernandez was riding a lawnmower back to the golf course maintenance yard.He was riding in the bike lane on Fairway Drive near Monarch Bay Drive when he was rear-ended by a pickup truck at high speed. The impact knocked the lawnmower onto the sidewalk. Hernandez was ejected from the mower and hit the pavement.He died two days later at the hospital.
Man dies in DeForest construction accident, OSHA investigating
DEFOREST, Wis. — A 42-year-old man died after a wall fell on top of him at a construction site in DeForest on Wednesday, officials said. In a news release, the DeForest Police Department said first responders were called to a construction site in the 4600 block of Bellflower Drive around 2:25 p.m. When they arrived, they found the man without a pulse and not breathing. Crews took the man to a hospital where he later died. Police said the man was one of several construction workers who were putting up a wall for a home under construction when a gust of wind knocked the wall over and onto him. Rhonda Burke, the deputy director of public affairs for the Chicago office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said five workers were putting up the wall on the building’s second floor. The agency has opened a review into GL Construction of DeForest to determine if any workplace safety rules were violated. The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man as Guadalupe Cervantes Vallin of Sturtevant. Preliminary autopsy results showed he died as a result of his injuries in the accident.
Construction worker killed in fall from rooftop at Chautauqua Institution
Chautauqua, NY — A construction worker was killed in a fall shortly before 8 a.m. Friday at the Chautauqua Institution, according to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office. The worker fell from a rooftop at the education center and summer resort, the Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies said the 51-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of injuries he sustained in the fall. The incident remained under investigation Friday.
Highway department dump truck driver killed in Wyoming County crash
Silver Springs, NY — The driver of a Wyoming County Highway Department dump truck was killed Friday afternoon in a single-vehicle crash in Silver Springs, according to the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies said the truck was eastbound on East Perry Avenue at 12:42 p.m. when witnesses saw it veer across the westbound lane. The truck sheered an electrical pole, then hit some parked cars before crashing into a building. No other motorists or pedestrians were involved in the crash. Wyoming County Coroner Michael Smith declared the truck driver dead at the scene, the Sheriff’s Office said. The driver’s name was not released pending notification of family.
Truck driver killed in Hokes Bluff crash when chicken truck overturns
Hokes Bluff, AL — A truck overturned on Friday on U.S. Highway 278 East in Hokes Bluff, in a crash that claimed the life of its driver and spilled a load of chickens, shutting down the highway for more than eight hours, according to Police Chief Tyler Roe. Justin Dale Gaskey, 34, of Steele, was traveling westbound on U.S. 278 when he lost control of the Koch Foods 18-wheeler he was driving. The truck went off the right hand side of the road, Roe said, and overturned near Culpepper curve, spilling its load of chickens. Gaskey was pronounced dead at the scene by the Etowah County Coroner’s Office.
Man delivering diesel fuel killed in accident at Clover construction site
CLOVER, S.C. — A man delivering diesel fuel was killed in an accident at a Clover construction site Wednesday morning, according to police. Officers said he was at a townhomes construction site on Highway 321, near Old Carriage Road, when he had issues with his truck. He was trying to fix the issue by himself when he was pulled under the truck and killed, authorities said. His identity has not been released. No diesel fuel leaked in the area. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in South Carolina said it is investigating and will be looking for any violations that may have in any way contributed to the incident.
Man killed in industrial accident in Provo
PROVO, UT — A man is dead after an accident at a job site near Novell Place and South East Bay Boulevard in Provo on Friday morning, police said. The incident happened after 9 a.m. on April 15, when a male construction worker fell through a skylight and through the roof, Provo Police Sgt. Nisha King said. The man, whose identity has not been released, was transported to Utah Valley Hospital where he was declared dead at the hospital, King said. The investigation has been referred to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for further investigation.
Truck driver killed in early-morning crash on New Jersey Turnpike, State Police say
Mercer County, NJ — A 36-year-old truck driver from Maryland was killed after crashing and overturning on the New Jersey Turnpike early Friday in Mercer County, officials said. Franklin S. Parker was traveling north on the toll road at about 3:45 a.m, when his tractor-trailer drifted onto the left shoulder, struck the guard rail, overturned and slammed into a concrete bridge support, according to State Police. Parker, of Ethen, Maryland was pronounced dead following the crash near mile post 63.4 in Robbinsville — about half-way between exits 7A and 8.
60-year-old man shot to death in East Orange store.
EAST ORANGE, NJ — On Monday, April 11, at approximately 12:45 p.m., an employee was shot to death in an East Orange store located at the corner of Springdale Avenue and Lincoln Street. Essex County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Katherine Carter told the Record-Transcript that the victim was Gregorio Reyes, 60, of Newark. According to surveillance videos from the store, an unknown man entered the store with a loaded handgun and shot Reyes, then fled the scene on foot.
TVA worker dies in Cheatham County
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee Valley Authority officials reported Wednesday the death of one of its workers. “TVA is saddened to confirm the death of one of our team members at a worksite in Cheatham County,” a spokesperson wrote in an email to NewsChannel 5. “We have few details at this point and our focus is currently on supporting the individual’s family and fellow workers. Out of respect for the family, we are not releasing any additional information at this time.” TVA is beginning its investigation into the worker’s death and has contacted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which will be on scene shortly.
NJ Stoneworker, 37, Killed By Granite Slab Was ‘Everyone’s Friend’
South Brunswick, NJ — A 37-year-old stoneworker from Burlington County was killed when a slab of granite fell onto him, authorities said. The man from Marlton, who was not identified, worked for Empire Marble & Granite in South Brunswick, police said. At 3:28 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, South Brunswick police, South Brunswick EMS, and Monmouth Junction Fire Department responded to 5 Chris Ct. The worker from Empire Marble & Granite who was killed in an industrial accident.Police found that the man’s coworkers had removed much of the slab off of him, they said. The man died at the scene.
Man dies after hazardous materials incident in Washington, Ind.
DAVIESS CO., Ind. (WEHT) — One man has been pronounced dead after a “hazardous materials incident” left him and another with serious injuries earlier this month. Washington Indiana Police Detective Barry Hudson confirmed that on the morning of April 1 around 8:30, dispatch was contacted by an Eagle Railcar Services employee saying a man was down on the property. Officials said the call quickly changed to an incident involving two men down on the property. According to Detective Hudson, life-saving measures were performed on both men by first responders on the scene before they were transferred to a hospital facility in Evansville. Family of James Ware, one of the men injured in the incident, confirmed with WEHT that he passed away on Easter. The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration says it is conducting a “safety compliance inspection” that could take several months.
‘Barbaric’: Atlanta security guard fatally shot, robbed near restaurant; suspect arrested
Atlanta, GA — The Atlanta Police Department (APD) has arrested a suspect accused of fatally shooting and robbing a security guard on Monday. Stanley Henderson, 30, is accused of killing Anthony Frazier, 51, outside a restaurant at 387 Cleveland Ave SW, which is part of a strip mall south of Atlanta featuring stores and restaurants, APD said. APD Lt. Ralph Woolfolk described Frazier as a husband and father during a Thursday press conference. Security footage released by the department shows the armed suspect — wearing a black, long-sleeve t-shirt, black Nike baseball hat and camouflage backpack — as he approaches walking up to the victim from behind. The video then appears to show the suspect robbing the victim as he lay on the ground. The suspect then walks away from the scene.
Worker killed by industrial machine at Clayton bread factory
CLAYTON, N.C. — Officials said a woman has been killed by a machine at a bread manufacturer in Clayton. 22-year-old Bibiana Delabra was crushed to death while working on a large industrial machine at Northeast Foods. Northeast Foods is a supplier of buns and bread products to fast-food restaurants. The incident happened at around 3:30 p.m. after which all employees were sent home. Donna Eason, the HR manager for the company told WRAL News they are a close knit family and everyone knew the 22 year old. “It’s just a freak accident there’s nothing else we can say about it and our hearts are just broke they’re really broke,” said Eason.
Construction Worker Dies in Trench Collapse in Tennessee
SPRING CITY, Tenn. (AP) — A construction worker died after he was trapped in a trench that collapsed while he was working on a home in Tennessee, authorities said. The man, who was not identified, was working in the garage of a home under construction when a trench dug as part of the project collapsed Saturday afternoon in Rhea County, said Det. Rocky Potter, a spokesman for the county sheriff’s department. Rescue crews from Chattanooga, Knox County and other jurisdictions were called in to help with a rescue attempt. Crews dug with hand tools such as shovels because there was no room in the garage for mechanized equipment, Potter said. Inside a gated community of Rivermyst in Spring City first responders worked into early Sunday morning to rescue Armando Saldana Lemus, but say he didn’t survive. The man was found dead at about 1 a.m. on Sunday, Potter said. Seventy to 100 rescue workers and members of law enforcement and fire departments worked on the scene of the rescue attempt, Potter said.
Veteran Town of Clayton-Winchester Firefighter dies
Clayton, WI — The Clayton-Winchester Volunteer Fire Department is mourning the loss of one of its members. According to Facebook posts, Scott Mathison died in a workplace accident on Friday. No details have been released on the incident. Mathison had been with the Clayton-Winchester Fire Department for 25-years.
Man dead in apparent industrial accident in Toledo
North Toledo, OH — A Michigan man was killed Thursday while loading grain onto a railcar at a grain elevator in North Toledo, the Lucas County Coroner’s Office confirmed. Shaun Baker, 42, was pronounced dead at the scene about 11 a.m. at the Hansen-Mueller grain elevator, 1800 N. Water St., Deputy Coroner Dr. Thomas Blomquist said. “His safety harness got entangled in the conveyor motor, he got entrapped, and died as a result of that,” Dr. Blomquist said. The official ruling on the cause of death is pending an autopsy scheduled for Friday, Dr. Blomquist said. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into the fatality, said Scott Allen, OSHA spokesman.
Two men killed in South Side industrial accident identified
Corpus Christi, TX — The Nueces County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the two men killed as Jose Rodriguez and Rene Jimenez. Their cause of death remains unclear. Corpus Christi Fire Department is working a scene in the 7000 block of Hathor Dr. in which two men reportedly have died, officials said. At about 5:30 p.m. Corpus Christi Fire Department responded to a call on that street. CCFD officials confirmed two men died while working underneath a house.
Findlay man killed in trash facility accident
FINDLAY, OH — A vehicle maintenance technician employed by Rumpke Waste & Recycling was killed in a workplace accident Monday at the company’s facility at 431 Prospect Ave. According to an incident report by the Findlay Police Department, Michael Wortman, 56, of Findlay, was killed when the front arm of a trash truck fell and struck him on the head. At the time of the incident, Wortman was attempting to repair the arm with the aid of a manager, who was using a fork lift to suspend the arm with a strap. After investigation, officers learned that Wortman and the manager were attempting to reattach the arm to a mechanical portion of the truck. A witness statement made by the manager said that as he raised the forklift to reposition the arm, the strap holding it snapped. Wortman moved around the forklift to get a better look at the arm when it fell and struck him in the head, the report states.
Rock County employee killed by falling tree identified
JANESVILLE, Wis. (WTVO) — The Rock County Medical Examiner has identified Randall Reilly, 61, of Edgerton, as the Rock County Public Works employee who was killed when a tree fell on his dump truck yesterday. According to the Rock County Sheriff’s Office, police were called to the 4900 block of N. River Road around 11:12 a.m. for what was first reported to be a crash. Upon arrival, officers discovered the Rock County Department of Public Works truck was traveling southbound when a large tree fell and struck the cab. Police said the tree was not cut and fell at random, due to environmental factors.
Security guard killed at Oakland community cabin site remembered for work ethic, love of family
OAKLAND, Calif. – The security guard shot and killed at a site used to house the homeless in West Oakland is being remembered for his work ethic and love for his family and friends. His mother and sister said their lives are changed forever and they want justice for Barry Murphy. The 37-year-old was killed April 7 on the job at a community cabin site in the 3400 block of Mandela Parkway. A source told KTVU the suspected gunman was a former resident who was denied access to the site. Police said Murphy was sitting inside his vehicle while parked at the front entrance to the cabin community when a former resident approached him. A source told KTVU that person shot Murphy six times for denying him access to the property. Sources told KTVU police know the identity of the person suspected of killing Murphy. But so far, there has been no arrest.
Truck driver killed on Wyoming highway after load enters cab
EVANSTON, Wyo. — A truck driver is dead after an abrupt stopped cause his load to enter his cab in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The fatal crash happened near milepost 52 on Interstate 80 east of Evanston, Wyoming. Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers were notified of a collision involving a commercial truck around 1:55 a.m. A 2003 Freightliner CBE commercial truck was headed west on I-80, and as the truck crested a hill, the driver saw other crashes on the road and began to brake. As the truck slowed, the unit’s trailer began to jackknife to the right, causing the vehicle to exit the roadway and come to an abrupt stop. The sudden stop caused the load on the trailer to break free and slide into the cab portion of the truck. The driver of the Freightliner has been identified as Enrique L. Castro, 47, of Colorado. Troopers said that Castro was not wearing a seatbelt and succumbed to his injuries at the crash scene.
Iowa man killed by excavator at salvage yard
PATON, Iowa — According to his brother, Kevin Cummings was a man of many hobbies—a fisher, a hunter, a racing fan. But after his death on April 8, his brother is left with some difficult questions. “Why did it happen when it shouldn’t have happened?” Keith Cummings said. According to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a call shortly before 11 a.m. on April 8 at Pickett Salvage in Paton after getting reports of a male being struck by an excavator. Kevin Cummings was reportedly walking around or behind the machine while it was being operated. That operator didn’t see Cummings while turning and backing up the vehicle at the same time. He died at the scene from his injuries. Wendell Wood, an excavator safety trainer and owner of MMJ Services, said that being behind an excavator is one of the worst places a person could find themselves. “The rule of thumb has been always being in the visual view of the operator, so he can see you. Never walk behind him,” Wood said.
Firefighter dies, trooper injured after being struck on I-71 in Wayne County
WAYNE COUNTY, Ohio — A Town and Country firefighter has died and an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper was injured after being struck on I-71 southbound near State Route 301 in Wayne County Monday. According to troopers, authorities initially arrived on the scene of a single-vehicle crash around 3:15 p.m. Authorities said the trooper and firefighter were finishing up documentation of the crash when a commercial vehicle hit their vehicles around 4 p.m. as well as the initial car involved in the crash. The trooper was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The firefighter, 35-year-old Lieutenant Philip M. Wigal, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Globe community reeling after 2nd firefighter dies in two months
GLOBE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – The Globe community is reeling after a second firefighter from the town has died in just two months. Brendan Bessee was working for the Salt River Fire Department when he died after his ambulance got into a crash with a semi-truck on the Beeline Highway Friday afternoon. The crash also sent another EMT to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. “It does impact the people,” said Globe Fire Department Chief Gary Robinson, who worked for Bessee for a year at the department. “Brendan was a quiet young man; he was strong,” added Robinson. “He was the kind of young man you wanted to see starting the fire service.”
Garbage truck driver killed in Cleveland crash
CLEVELAND, OH – A garbage truck driver was killed during a crash on Interstate 490 east in Cleveland at about 5 p.m. Monday. The Cleveland Division of Police said the truck was going eastbound when an unknown vehicle swerved into the lane, forcing the driver to apply the brakes. The garbage truck lost control on the wet highway and went off the right side of the road. It went through the grass and up an embankment before hitting the bridge abutment, police said. Rumpke Waste and Recycling said the driver was an employee there.
Jeremy Hullaby Killed in Wrong-Way Truck Crash on I-85 in Troup County, GA
Troup County, GA — April 11, 2022, a 33-year-old truck driver, Jeremy Hullaby, was killed in a crash after going the wrong way on Interstate 85 in Troup County. Authorities say the incident happened around 1:30 a.m. on southbound I-85 near mile marker 7. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was driving a big rig north in the southbound lanes, against traffic, when he collided with a second tractor-trailer in the roadway. After the impact the wrong-way truck veered into the median then re-entered southbound traffic where it hit another vehicle. The wrong-way truck driver reportedly died at the scene. Other injuries were reported but it’s unclear who was hurt or to what extent.