Three trench deaths last week (on top of three the week before), a 16-year old killed driving heavy equipment, mining incident and the usual vehicular incidents, shootings and stabbings. 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.

Construction worker dies after falling into trench in Sun Valley

Sun Valley, CA — A man lost his life on Friday after falling into a construction trench in Sun Valley. When Los Angeles Fire Department first responders arrived to the construction site at the 8405 block of N. Glenoaks Boulevard, they found the patient unresponsive and pronounced him deceased at the scene. The man was not an employee of the City of Los Angeles, according to LA Fire. LA Fire’s initial report stated that there was debris up to the man’s chest, when paramedics and rescue operations arrived. The rescue was also originally reported as a confined space rescue but was eventually changed to a trench rescue. The identity of the man has not been released.

Construction worker dies in McKinney accident

McKinney, TX — A construction worker died in an accident Friday morning in McKinney, Collin County authorities said. Investigators were called about 9:40 a.m. to the work site near FM543 and County Road 202, where a sewer-line trench had caved in. The Collin County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as 41-year-old Paulin Sanchez. The sheriff’s office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are continuing to investigate but do not suspect foul play.

Michael Messina of North Easton identified as man killed by electrocution in Taunton while removing antenna from building

Tauntin, MA — The man who died after being electrocuted while doing work on a Taunton apartment building on Thursday has been identified as Michael Messina, 58, of North Easton. Messina was electrocuted while trying to remove an antenna from the Danforth Street home at around 7:30 a.m. Thursday when the antenna made contact with a power line, according to a release by the Bristol County District Attorney’s office. The electrical incident also caused a fire on the exterior of the building, which the Taunton Fire Department extinguished quickly with no other reported injuries.

Man dead after trench collapses on him in Cleves

CLEVES, Ohio — One man is dead after a trench collapsed in on him at a home under construction in Cleves. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to a house on Foxpoint Ridge Friday afternoon alongside the Miami Township Fire Department following a report of a man stuck in a hole. When they arrived, the sheriff’s office said it appears 56-year-old Mark Hines entered a trench he had been digging with an excavator while working on the construction site. It is not known why Hines entered the trench, but officials said the trench collapsed in on him. He was found by a Metropolitan Sewer District employee who arrived to inspect the property.

Johnny Will Prude Jr. Identified as Employee Killed at Treatment Plant on Yorkville Rd

Columbus, MS (June 26, 2022) – An employee of the Columbus Light and Water Department died on the job on Saturday, June 25th. According to the Lowndes County Coroner, 54-year-old Johnny Will Prude, Jr. was found dead at the CLW’s wastewater plant off Yorkville Road near the Columbus fairgrounds. The CW General Manager reported that, at about 9:30 a.m., one of their employees was performing routine jobs at one of the department’s water facilities. After a period of time during which the employee failed to respond to any calls from his co-workers, emergency protocols were executed to establish the employee’s whereabouts. The police were finally notified of the situation around 2:00 p.m. and assisted other workers in a thorough search of the plant. The worker’s body was eventually discovered behind the plant.

Mayonnaise dispute ends with deadly shooting of Atlanta Subway worker

ATLANTA, Ga. – A dispute over mayonnaise led to the deadly shooting of a Georgia Subway worker in front of her son. Officers responded to a downtown Atlanta Subway located inside a gas station around 6:30 p.m. Sunday. According to FOX 5 Atlanta, a Subway worker was killed, and a second employee was hospitalized after a customer opened fire inside the business. Restaurant owner Willie Glenn told reporters the shooting was over “too much mayonnaise” on the customer’s sandwich. Glenn said the customer complained about the mayo and then “decided to escalate the situation.” From there, according to Glenn, “all hell broke loose” when the customer shot the employees. Both employees had worked at the location for about a month. The woman who died was shot in front of her young son, who witnessed the shooting inside the store.

Employee Shot 3 Co-Workers, 1 Fatally, During Confrontation at WeatherTech Facility

Bolingbrook, IL — A WeatherTech employee was charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder for a shooting in which he killed a co-worker and injured two others who confronted him for allegedly robbing fellow employees, authorities said. Charles McKnight Jr., 27, of Chicago, was apprehended by Bolingbrook police following Saturday morning’s shooting at a WeatherTech warehouse, police said in a news release.  Officers were initially called to the warehouse, 1 WeatherTech Way, at approximately 6:25 a.m. in regarding a subject who had been shot. A preliminary investigation revealed McKnight, who worked at the facility through a temporary employment agency, was confronted by employees for allegedly robbing two co-workers at gunpoint, Bolingbrook police said. An argument ensued during the confrontation, and the suspect pulled out a handgun, shooting three co-workers, authorities stated. Central Hightower, a 37-year-old man from Plainfield, died from his injuries, authorities stated. A 25-year-old male, who was one of the earlier robbery victims, was shot and listed in critical condition. A 43-year-old man sustained gunshot injuries and has since been released from the hospital.

Employee killed in convenience store shooting, suspect at-large

STAR, N.C. — The State Bureau of Investigation is searching for the suspect in a convenience store shooting where one employee was killed Saturday night. According to the Star Police Department, officers were called to the Quik Chek in the 200 block of South Main Street just after 10 p.m. regarding the shooting. When officers arrived they found an employee of the store, 53-year-old Laura Whitman, dead as a result of gunshot wounds. Investigators said that a Black man walked into the store wearing a hood and mask, displayed a gun and jumped over the counter where the employee was standing. The suspect proceeded to shoot the cashier three times following an altercation. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Utah State flight instructor, student killed in plane crash

CACHE COUNTY, Utah — Two people have died after a Utah State University aviation program plane crashed in southwestern Cache County. USU Aviation confirmed flight instructor Blake Shumway and aviation student Michael Carpenter were on the Cessna 152 when it crashed near 2700 South state Route 23, between Mendon and Wellsville, around 9 a.m. Friday. “We are devastated by this morning’s tragic crash and the loss of members in our USU community,” said USU President Noelle E. Cockett. “Every student and employee is part of our Aggie family, and we know many individuals will feel this loss deeply.” USU Aviation said all flights have been canceled for the day. Shumway was a certified flight instructor and has worked for USU Aviation since September. Carpenter was majoring in aviation technology/professional pilot and was scheduled to graduate this fall. No cause for the crash has been released.

Truck driver killed in Avenal after picking up hitchhiker in Bakersfield

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — A truck driver was stabbed and killed in Avenal Saturday after picking up a hitchhiker while driving through Bakersfield. According to Fresno County Sheriff’s, the truck driver was killed at a gas station along Interstate 5 near Avenal earlier Saturday morning. Through their investigation, detectives determined the truck driver was a good Samaritan who came upon the suspect near a Chevron off of Stockdale Highway and the I-5. Investigators believe the suspect was involved in a carjacking in Oakland Friday night and fled to Bakersfield where he stabbed another victim and stole their vehicle. That victim is expected to survive, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

Clay County man dead after workplace accident

MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – A workplace accident in Monroe County leaves a Clay County man dead. According to Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley, around 11:20 Friday morning Robert Grays of West Point was working on a paving project on Highway 45 and Davidson Road in Monroe County when he was hit by a Bobcat tractor operated by a co-worker. Grays was taken to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. He died at 3:24 PM of multiple trauma resulting from the accident. Grays was working for Falcon Construction out of Columbus.

Kiewit-Employed Pipefitter Dies on Calif. Wastewater Project Site

San Jose, CA — California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the June 14 death of a construction worker at the San Jose-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility. The incident occurred during a $7-million facility control upgrade being carried out by Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. According to Kiewit spokesperson Bob Kula, the worker, identified only as a craft pipefitter, was fatally injured while removing sections of large piping. Cal/OSHA confirmed that the worker was transported to a hospital where he died from his injuries.

Turner Highlands Golf Course owner dies when riding mower overturns

TURNER, ME — The owner of Turner Highlands Golf Course died Wednesday when his mower overturned at the edge of the course. Police did not identify the deceased, but family friends said 76-year-old Paul Cutter died in the mowing accident Wednesday afternoon. At about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office along with Turner Rescue and Fire were dispatched to 10 Highland Ave. for a report of an unresponsive man found under his riding mower. Police said the man was soon determined to be dead at the scene. Police said an investigator from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also responded. The investigation was ongoing Thursday.

2nd worker killed at Green Tree Boulevard extension project site, city offers condolences

Victorville, CA — A constructor worker was killed Wednesday morning at the Green Tree Boulevard extension project site in Victorville. Officials are investigating the second death of a constructor worker at the Green Tree Boulevard extension project site in Victorville. The worker suffered fatal injuries on Wednesday morning near Ridgecrest Road and Yates Road near Spring Valley Lake. It’s believed that a piece of heavy construction equipment, possibly an excavator, fell on a semi-truck, which trapped the driver inside. Firefighters arrived at the scene and extricated the man, who was later pronounced deceased. The San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office has not identified the man who was killed. In March 2021, a construction worker was killed and three others injured after an SUV ran into them on Hesperia Road south of Green Tree Boulevard.

Kentucky Power employee killed in vehicle accident while working Thursday

PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WCHS) — A Kentucky Power employee was killed in a vehicle accident while on the job Thursday in Perry County, Kentucky, company officials confirmed. Wallace “Woo” Melton Jr., 58, was killed Thursday morning. A spokesperson for Kentucky Power said the crash happened early Thursday morning in the Hazard area. “All of us at Kentucky Power are heartbroken by this tragic news and we extend our deepest condolences to the family and to all who knew our employee,” the statement said. No information on what happened was provided.

Perry County correctional officer killed in jail shooting

PERRYVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas State Police is investigating a shooting that killed a correctional officer inside the Perry County Jail. It happened late Wednesday night. The Perry County Sheriff’s Office called ASP special agents to begin the investigation. The suspect is a 37-year-old man who was in the process of being booked into the jail after his arrest, according to State Police. Investigators have not released the name of the suspect or the officer.

Spartanburg County sheriff talks about deputy’s death

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. — Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright spoke Friday after one of his deputies was shot and killed in the line of duty. Deputy Austin Derek Aldridge, 25, died Tuesday night after being shot while responding to a domestic call, Wright said. “He was ambushed, he was shot,” Wright said. “I’ll trust Christ in this. I’m confused. I’m hurt. I’m angry.”

Firefighter dies following fire in Pleasanton, Kansas

LINN COUNTY, Kansas (KCTV) — We have now learned Linn County firefighter Joshua Haynes has died after he was critically injured while responding to a fire earlier this week. The passing of Josh Haynes is just devastating for this rural Linn County community. A number of people have already put up black and red ribbons to show their love and support for the family. Fire officials say that Haynes was responding to a fire at a local chiropractor late Monday. They say Haynes was one of the first firefighters to enter the building with the hose line and somehow fell backward. Haynes was transported with critical injuries to a hospital in the Kansas City area, where he fought for his life.

Crews Find Body of Worker Under Collapsed Iowa Grain Silo

Yarmouth, IA — Crews recovered the body of a man who was buried under piles of grain and debris from a collapsed grain silo in southeastern Iowa on Wednesday. The collapse happened just before 8 a.m. Tuesday at a grain elevator at Yarmouth, officials reported. Des Moines County emergency management officials said the man’s body was recovered about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday. The man’s name has not been released. Two men had just unloaded a semitrailer full of grain into a holding shed at the elevator when they heard a loud bang and began running from the facility as the silo partially collapsed, Mediapolis Fire Department Deputy Chief Jeff Kerr told the Hawk Eye. “The one made it out, and he turned around and the other guy wasn’t with him,” Kerr said. Nearly 60 emergency responders, contractors and towing crew members responded to the scene to remove the debris in an effort to reach the man.

Police identify man killed in Box Elder workplace accident

PROMONTORY, Utah — Police have identified a man killed Tuesday in a workplace accident in Box Elder County. Two county employees were operating UTVs when they crashed in the General Promontory area. Authorities said they were working about half a mile apart and the crashes weren’t connected. The first worker sustained a serious injury and was transported to the hospital. In the second incident soon after, William “Frenchy” Kossman, 69, died on scene as a result of his injuries. “We can’t come up with enough words to describe William Dwaine Kossman, affectionately known as Frenchy. His hands were always full. Whether he was bringing you something, fixing something, or adding his personal touch. He will be extremely missed by all who knew him,” his family said in a statement. Kossman was a seasonal worker in the weed control department since 2020. This year marked his third season working for the county. He helped with roadside weed spraying and worked as a sprayer on the Rush Skeleton crew. When the crashes happened, the weed spraying crew was working on spraying noxious Rush Skeleton weeds, which county officials say destroy native plants and foliage in grazing areas. The weeds need to be treated individually to avoid causing damage to beneficial plants, officials said.

Worker killed at Giles County lime plant

GILES, Va. — A Fayette County man has died in an underground mine accident in western Virginia. Stuart Moore, 50, of Oak Hill, died Monday after an incident in a limestone mine in Giles County owned by Belgium-headquartered Lhoist Group, according to the Virginia Department of Energy. Moore died Monday around 3:30 p.m. after spoil material caused an excavator that Moore was operating to overturn and cover it, according to Virginia Department of Energy spokesperson Tarah Kesterson. Crews were working to remove spoil material from the mine to meet environmental requirements to close the mine, Kesterson said. A preliminary investigation found that a large volume of lime kiln dust began moving “unexpectedly and very quickly” through a vertical opening to where Moore was operating excavator loading trucks to remove the material, Kesterson said in an emailed statement Thursday. Why the material moved unexpectedly is under investigation, Kesterson added. Both injured individuals were identified to be employees of Gillmann Services, Inc., a contractor that is operating at the facility.

Police identify truck driver killed in Garden State Parkway crash

Woodbridge, NJ — A truck driver was killed Thursday morning when his vehicle overturned on the Garden State Parkway in Woodbridge, authorities said. Scott Stadnik, 49, of Flemington, was driving a Freightliner M2 truck north on the highway when it overturned at milepost 134.8 around 6:30 a.m., according to New Jersey State Police Sgt. Alejandro Goez. Stadnik was fatally injured in the single-vehicle wreck.

Man suspected of fatally striking construction worker at Whittier elementary school is arrested

Whittier, CA — A Gardena man has been arrested after being accused of fatally striking a construction worker in a truck at a Whittier elementary school, police said. Officers responded to Jordan Elementary School on Tuesday for a reported traffic collision, and found a man with severe injuries, said Whittier Police Officer Thomas Mattsson. Two workers on a construction site at the school had gotten into an argument that escalated with one worker striking the other with a work truck, he said. School was not in session at the time and the campus was closed for summer break. The victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was identified as 46-year-old Gabriel Arredondo-Moreno, a resident of Fontana.

Feds investigating after teen dies in work-related crash at Jackson County quarry

Jefferson, GA — A teen driving a piece of heavy equipment at a rock quarry north of Jefferson was killed Friday when the machinery rolled over and crushed him, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. The accident claimed the life of 16-year-old Brian Thigpen, a resident of Jefferson County near Augusta. The federal investigation was turned over to the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. Thigpen, who would have turned 17 on Sunday, was employed by Terra Excavations, a company out of Augusta that contracted for work at the site, according to Sheriff Janis Mangum. The sheriff’s office reported it was called to Vulcan Materials Rock Quarry north of I-85 shortly after 1 p.m. Mangum reported the machine was being operated by the teen when it turned over and pinned him underneath, killing him. The question of whether Thigpen could lawfully operate such machinery at his age is an OSHA question, according to the sheriff.

Alabama sheriff’s deputy killed in traffic crash

Auburn, AL — Alabama authorities say a sheriff’s deputy has been killed in a traffic crash. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says Chambers County Sheriff’s Deputy Jmar Abel of Auburn was on patrol when the accident happened. The SUV he was assigned to drive struck a ditch and overturned. What caused the SUV to leave the road Monday afternoon was not immediately known. The 24-year-old deputy died at a medical center in Georgia. State troopers are investigating the accident.

Cops Hunt for Boyfriend of Maine Youth Worker Killed in Hit-and-Run: Report

Acadia, ME — A woman killed in a hit-and-run in Acadia National Park was struck by a car registered to her boyfriend of more than three years—a man with a history of domestic violence that Maine authorities are now “actively” hunting for, the Portland Press Herald reported. Nicole Mokeme, 35, was at a scientific research center in the park, where she had reportedly been helping to organize the weekend’s Black Excellence Retreat, when she was hit by a black BMV SUV between late Saturday and early Sunday.

Ashland logging truck driver killed in crash

WASHBURN TOWNSHIP, Wis. — A 76-year-old logging truck driver was killed early Monday when the rig he was driving overturned on Ondossagon Road. Gary Sanborn, of Ashland, was identified Thursday by the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Office as the deceased operator of the truck. “Tire marks along the roadway indicate the operator drove off the shoulder of the road and attempted to drive back onto the road before overturning,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release Tuesday. The crash was reported at 9:53 a.m. Monday, and the operator of the truck was found unresponsive inside the cab. Paramedics and a nearby resident removed the operator, who was pronounced dead after life-saving attempts.

Authorities ID dump truck driver killed in accident at Gross Reservoir

DENVER, CO – Authorities released the identity on Tuesday of the dump truck driver whose body was recovered from Gross Reservoir Saturday. The Office of the Boulder County Coroner identified the victim as 28-year-old Matthew Liu. An examination has been completed and the cause and manner of death are pending further investigation, the coroner said. Divers recovered Liu’s body from the cab of his dump truck that careened into the Gross Reservoir after an accident early Saturday morning. The accident occurred just after midnight at the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project site. The truck was hauling 7,000 pounds of rock when the roadway gave way near the Gross Reservoir Dam, causing the truck to roll down an embankment and into the water, according to the Colorado State Patrol. The CSP said there is a debris field where the truck went into the reservoir near the dam. Sonar determined the truck was at a depth of 43 feet at the deepest point.

Worker killed at Church Street construction site in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A local HVAC company is mourning the loss of one of its employees after they died in a worksite accident Friday, June 17. The worker was employed by Lee Company and was working on a construction site project at 900 Church Street when the accident occurred. Right now, few details are being released as Tennessee OSHA continues to investigate, but those in the area hope safety measures are in place so that these situation doesn’t happen again.

Truck driver killed in crash on Route 15 at Trout Run

TROUT RUN, NY — One man was killed and another suffered minor injuries when a southbound box truck went over an embankment and overturned on Route 15, just north of the interchange here, about 9:45 a.m. Saturday, state police said. The driver, Travis Fedoriw, 26, of Williamsport, who died in the crash, failed to negotiate a curve, causing the truck to go down a 15-foot embankment and flip onto the driver’s side, police said. The truck then slid about 125 feet, landing along the west berm of the northbound lanes, police said. Fedoriw, who was not wearing a seat belt, was partially ejected and trapped under the truck, police said. He was killed instantly, officials said.


Poughkeepsie, NY — A tractor-trailer drove into Junior’s Lounge in Poughkeepsie on Salt Point Turnpike on Monday around noon. Junior’s Lounge is a longtime Poughkeepsie sports bar and restaurant. The bar is popular in Dutchess County for its food, live music and karaoke nights. The unnamed tractor-trailer driver was killed in the accident, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro confirmed. The cause of the crash remains under investigation. A longtime Dutchess County resident told NBC there are many blind spots along Salt Point Road, near the accident.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Confined Space

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

Continue reading