Weekly Toll

How workers died last week. Yet another trench collapse, rail explosion, frozen to death, fall off an overpass, traffic, shooting…..  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.

Railroad worker killed by explosion near Old Town Spring

SPRING, Texas – Authorities say a railroad worker was killed Saturday after a fuel ignition caused an explosion near Old Town Spring. Details are limited, as it’s an active scene, but according to the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, it happened sometime Saturday morning around 9 a.m. when two workers were on the tracks in the 26500 block of E. Hardy Rd. Preliminary information is the two were doing “hotwork” on the rail line, when “a fuel gas ignited causing an explosion.” One of the workers was rushed to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

Employee Is Found Dead in Walk-in Freezer at a Brooklyn Bakery

Canarsie, NY — A man was found dead inside the walk-in freezer of a Brooklyn bakery that has supplied a variety of baked goods to national supermarket chains, including Costco, Sam’s Club and Kroger, the police said on Thursday. The man, a 33-year-old employee of Beigel’s Bakery in Canarsie, got locked inside a freezer at the 50,000 square foot facility at around 3 a.m., a spokesman for the New York City Police Department said. He was not found by co-workers for more than five hours. One co-worker called 911 shortly before 9 a.m., but when emergency medical workers arrived, they pronounced him dead on the scene, said a spokesman for the Fire Department, which oversees the city’s ambulance corps.

Worker killed after falling from overpass, getting hit by vehicle on Van Wyck Expressway in Queens

FLUSHING, Queens, NY — A construction worker who was working on a bridge has died after falling from the structure and being hit by a car in Queens. The incident was reported on the northbound lanes of the Van Wyck Expressway just after 10:15 a.m. The 34-year-old construction worker was on the Roosevelt Avenue Bridge when he fell onto the expressway below. He was then struck by a vehicle and rushed to the hospital in critical condition where he later died. Jeremy Rozan, 34, was thrown into the left-hand lane after falling through a bridge that spans a major expressway in Queens, New York, on Tuesday.

OSHA investigating fatal trench collapse in Ruston

RUSTON, La.  — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a fatal trench collapse in Ruston. A worker for Skylan Construction Inc. was in an 8-foot-deep excavation to upgrade a sewer lift station for existing sewer services when the trench collapsed, OSHA reports. The worker was taken to Northern Louisiana Medical Center, the Ruston hospital where he was pronounced dead. The worker’s death is among the latest examples of trench hazards. On Oct. 26, an R. Construction Civil LLC employee died while using a gas-powered mechanical compactor inside a 20-feet deep trench to install new sewer lines in a new subdivision near the Brazoria County city of Manvel, Texas. The employee exited the compactor, then the trench wall collapsed, pinning him between the compactor and the wall of the trench, killing him. In a news release, OSHA also says this is the fourth time since 2015 that R. Construction Civil has been inspected. In each of the three previous inspections, the company received citations for not protecting employees working in excavations.

Two dead after wild grocery store shootout in Maryland

Oxon Hill, MD — Two people were killed in a wild grocery store shootout in Maryland when a security guard confronted a shoplifter — and both opened fire. The Friday tragedy unfolded just after 10:25 a.m. when a male security guard stopped a woman who was allegedly trying to steal items at a Giant grocery store in Oxon Hill. The thief apparently took a handgun from her backpack and shot the guard multiple times, police said. The security guard then managed to return fire, striking the woman. The guard was pronounced dead at the scene; the woman was rushed to the hospital where she later died from her injuries. No one else was hurt.

Restaurant employee dies after being struck by stray gunfire while on the job

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -A man fighting for his life after being struck by stray gunfire last week has died, according to his family. The family identifies the victim as Joe Bryan. The deadly incident happened around 3:15 a.m. Friday near Premier Pub and Grill in the 1500 block of 4th Avenue. Several stray bullets hit nearby business D.P. Dough where Bryan was critically injured on the job.

Truck Driver Killed in Crash with Tree on I-10 in Tallahassee, FL

Tallahassee, FL — November 3, 2022, a 49-year-old truck driver died when his big rig ran off Interstate 10 and crashed in Tallahassee. Authorities say the incident happened around 4:25 a.m. on eastbound I-10 near mile marker 212. Preliminary investigation suggests only that the victim was driving a tractor-trailer east when he may have lost control for unknown reasons. The truck left the eastbound lanes, passed through the median and westbound lanes, and ran off the road into a tree. After the impact the semi-trailer overturned. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Worker killed in overnight industrial accident at Moraine business identified as Dayton man

MORAINE, OH — A Dayton man died from his injuries after an industrial accident during the early morning hours Thursday at a Moraine business, according to police. The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office identified the man as Terrance Harper, 39, of Dayton. Medics and officers were called around 2:45 a.m. to the Ernst Metal Technology facility on Kreitzer Road on reports of an industrial accident, initial reports indicate. Workers reported Harper was injured after a large metal coil fell on him, a Moraine police spokesperson confirmed to News Center 7 in an emailed statement. Harper was initially transported to an area hospital with critical injuries but later died.

Family wants justice after veteran Chicago Streets and San worker is crushed to death on job

CHICAGO, IL — A routine workday last week turned deadly for a longtime worker with the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation. As CBS 2’s Marybel González reported, a memorial with letters and balloons was still set up Thursday night in the alley behind 46th Street and Sacramento Avenue in the Brighton Park neighborhood where Edward Bowersox was killed a week earlier. His family says his coworker on the garbage crew made a turn with a truck that crushed him. The beloved Streets and San waste collector died while doing what his family says he enjoyed – working and serving his city.

Construction worker dies after 2-vehicle crash in Waddell

Maricopa County, AZ — A construction worker who was hit during a two-vehicle crash in Waddell has died, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Maricopa County deputies responded to the area of 175th and Olive avenues on Saturday and found the worker was hit during the collision. The man was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and has died, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He was identified as 32-year-old Nathaniel Cantrell.

Truck Driver Killed in Tanker Crash on I-95 in Richmond, VA

Richmond, VA — November 2, 2022, a truck driver died when a tanker crashed and caught fire on Interstate 95 in Richmond. Investigators have released few details about the incident so far, but say it happened Wednesday on I-95 under the Belvidere Street overpass. Reports only say that a tanker truck crashed and caught fire, causing fatal injuries to its driver. The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.


Warnerton, LA — Very early Monday morning of this week, troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a two vehicle fatal crash on LA Hwy 25 near LA Hwy 438 at Warnerton. The crash claimed the life of 61-year-old Lavon Givens of Jayess, Mississippi. The initial investigation revealed the crash occurred as Givens was traveling southbound on LA Hwy 25 in a 1998 Peterbilt tractor-trailer. At the same time, a 2019 Jeep Renegade was traveling northbound on LA Hwy 25. For reasons still under investigation, the Peterbilt left its lane and impacted the Jeep head-on in the northbound lane of LA Hwy 25. After impact, the Peterbilt ran off of the roadway and became fully engulfed in flames.

30-year-old dies in skid steer accident at Ascension St. Joseph Hospital

TAWAS CITY, Mich. (WJRT) – A Pinconning man died after a skid steer accident at Ascension St. Joseph Hospital in Tawas City last week. Police responded to the hospital maintenance garage around 9:30 a.m. Thursday to investigate a report of someone trapped. The Tawas City Police Department found hospital maintenance workers trying to free 30-year-old Cody Wilber from the skid steer when officers arrived. Wilber was unconscious and stopped breathing before hospital staff broke a window to the cab, so they could access the machine’s controls. They got Wilber out of the skid steer and started performing CPR. Police say Wilber and a coworker were working on the skid steer and needed to raise the bucket so they could access a bolt. Wilber moved the bucket off the ground, turned off the machine and started climbing out the front. However, the bucket collapsed on top of him as he climbed out and pinned him to the skid steer.

2 dead in Chattanooga shooting that erupted at post office, ended in vehicle crash

Chattanooga, TN — An employee at a Chattanooga, Tennessee, post office fatally shot his supervisor during a heated argument that erupted at their workplace over the weekend. The employee then shot himself and crashed a vehicle into a strip mall business, police said. The shooting unfolded around 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Police officers responded to a report of possible active shooter at a post office in a neighborhood southeast of downtown Chattanooga, police Chief Celeste Murphy said at a news conference early Monday.

KY police officer killed after being hit by pickup truck in possible DUI crash

London, KY — A Kentucky police officer was killed Sunday when his vehicle was hit by a pickup truck whose driver was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, authorities said. London Police Officer Logan K. Medlock, 26, died in the crash, which took place at about 12:50 a.m., the Kentucky State Police said in a statement. Medlock was on duty and driving through an intersection in London when his Dodge Charger police cruiser was struck by a Dodge Ram pickup truck, police said. Medlock, of Keavy, died on the scene of the crash.



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