Weekly Toll

Yet another trench collapse, assaults on  nurse and social worker, wood chipper, two tow truck driver deaths, falls, fire, drowning. Just a few of the ways workers died last week….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 from industrial accident at Ohio bakery

Martins Ferry, OH — A confirmation has been received by 7News that a male employee died in an industrial accident at Nickles Bakery. Robert Edward Mike Jr., 29, of Martins Ferry, was killed when a piece of equipment fell on him.

Brockport college student who died after reported assault at work identified

Rochester, NY — Rochester police identified the woman who died after she was allegedly attacked while working at an addiction center in Rochester this week as 33-year-old Brittni Iverson of Rochester. Iverson was a junior majoring in social work at SUNY Brockport, university officials confirmed on Friday. More here.

Victim in Thursday’s fatal shooting was visiting nurse

Spokane, WA — Douglas Brant worked tirelessly with his patients — often adding another one to his already full schedule — while still carving out time to teach youth guitar lessons. Brant’s life was cut short Thursday when a 33-year-old man shot and killed him while the Providence registered nurse was treating the shooter’s grandmother at her Spokane home, police said. After a manhunt that lasted nearly a day, police arrested Mitchell E. Chandler Friday near the Cascade Mobile Home Park residence where the shooting happened. Jean Chandler, Mitchell Chandler’s grandmother, told police Brant arrived at her house Thursday afternoon. About an hour into the visit, Mitchell Chandler, who was cooking in the kitchen, shot Brant, according to court documents. There was no indication they had met before the visit, which was Brant’s first at the home. Jean Chandler told police her grandson has mental health issues from traumatic brain injuries sustained in bull-riding. Court documents indicate Mitchell Chandler has a history of violence and threats against workers. The state Nurses Association said workplace violence has become “an all-too-familiar part of the job.” “In fact, workplace violence against nurses has risen during the pandemic,” the statement said. “We hear of nurses being punched, kicked, scratched on a too regular basis, but a killing is rare and horrific. Our thoughts are with Doug’s family and colleagues as they absorb the violent loss of a co-worker and friend.”

Magic in the Sky speaks out after Orlando warehouse fire kills 3

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The tragic fire at an Orange County warehouse just keeps getting worse as a third person has now died. Firefighters had to dodge exploding fireworks to get trapped people to safety. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office says 24-year-old Landon Bourland has died from his injuries. The family’s spokesperson told WESH 2 he was one of the people who were working at the warehouse the night it caught fire. Investigators are working to figure out how it started. A third person has now died from their injuries after the warehouse in Orlando caught fire with people trapped inside. The family’s spokesperson told WESH that Bourland, a young man, died at the hospital Friday with his loved ones by his side. Magic in the Sky told WESH 2 there were eight employees on site. Three adults and one teenager were stuck inside as fireworks exploded around them. Firefighters had to make their way through to pull out the four employees before rushing them to the hospital. The sheriff’s office released the names of the two other victims who died — David Gonzalez who was 22 years old and Lindsey Phillips who was 23.

Tree trimmer dies after falling into wood chipper

Daviess County, KY — Daviess County Deputies were called to the Stonegate neighborhood in Owensboro Monday afternoon. It was for a tree trimming employee with a traumatic injury. The worker had partially fallen into a wood chipper. The man was pronounced dead by the Daviess County Coroner. He has been identified as 46 year old Joseph Manire of Crofton, Kentucky. No foul play is suspected.

Worker dies after trench collapse in Clarksville, Indiana

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Authorities are investigating after a construction worker died after an incident in southern Indiana Monday morning. The worker from Dan Cristiani Excavating — identified Wednesday by the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office as 22-year-old Emmanuel Martinez Moran — was trapped when a trench collapsed around 9:20 a.m. Moran was rescued by fire and EMS and taken to a Louisville hospital where he died, according to the Clarksville Fire Department, a town of Clarksville spokesperson and a representative of the excavating company. The trench was dug on McKinley Avenue near Carter Avenue. Workers had dug a hole in the street as part of work to move water and sewer lines in the area. A spokesperson for the Clarksville-based excavating company said trenching operations are suspended during the investigation into Monday’s incident. The work had just begun when, around 9:20 a.m, 911 calls came flooding in saying a worker was trapped in a six to seven-foot hole after the trench had collapsed up to the man’s chest. Indiana OSHA records showed the company was fined $6,500 for safety violations in 2018 related to excavation and protective equipment requirements.

Construction worker dies at Upper West Side building

New York, NY — A construction worker died Monday after falling from an Upper West Side building. The incident occurred late Monday morning at 263 West End Avenue, Gothamist reported. A preliminary investigation by the Department of Buildings found the 36-year-old worker, who has not been publicly identified, was installing netting around a supported scaffold on the 15th floor when he fell to a sidewalk shed below. The DOB issued a full stop work order at the site, which is owned by Riverside Towers Corporation. A spokesperson for the agency told the outlet there are active work permits at the 23-story building for façade repair and the supported scaffold.

Maintenance worker found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in Ann Arbor hotel

ANN ARBOR, MI – Firefighters responding to a carbon monoxide alarm in an Ann Arbor hotel Monday afternoon found a maintenance worker dead of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning. Fire crews were called at 12:38 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28, to the Victory Inn, 3750 Washtenaw Ave., for a reported carbon monoxide incident, according to the Ann Arbor Fire Department. Crews entered the hotel and located a maintenance worker inside the boiler room deceased of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning, officials said. Testing showed the boiler room contained carbon monoxide levels in excess of 500 parts per million, well above the OSHA safe threshold of 50 parts per million for an 8-hour work period.

Tow truck driver killed on JR Allen Pkwy in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A tow truck driver, 41-year-old Jonathan Begley, tragically died after being struck by a vehicle on an entrance ramp to JR Allen Parkway from Moon Road Friday night. The deceased was hit while he was in the process of loading up a State Trooper’s vehicle that had broke down. The tow truck driver was pronounced dead at 10:49 p.m. Friday night.

Worker Shoveling Snow Killed in Snohomish County Hit-and-Run

Everett, WA — A 50-year-old man died Saturday morning when he was hit by a car while shoveling snow outside an RV sales business along Highway 99 south of Everett, according to the Washington State Patrol. WSP Trooper Kelsey Harding said the northbound driver of a beige 2006 Pontiac G6 sedan left the road at 8:35 a.m. and went onto the shoulder before striking Glenn Starks, who died at the scene. The car came to a stop in the parking lot of the business, Kirkland RV Sales. Surveillance video showed the male driver running from the scene, according to the State Patrol.Tim Kirkland of the family that owns the RV business said Starks was an employee and was shoveling snow to allow vehicles into the parking lot.

Home Depot worker dies from injuries in North Carolina shoplifting, police say; suspect still on the run

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — An elderly man who was injured in a Hillsborough shoplifting in October has died from injuries he suffered in the incident, according to police. The larceny — in which the suspect is still on the run — happened when a thief was exiting the Home Depot on October 18, Hillsborough police said. The suspect forcefully shoved Gary Rasor to the ground and the case is now a homicide. Rasor was still hospitalized four days later when he celebrated his 83rd birthday, his family told CBS 17 at the time. Rasor’s wife, Yovone, told CBS 17 Friday night that her husband died Wednesday. Police said Friday night Rasor’s death was “due to complications from the injuries received.” Rasor was pushed on the concrete floor by the shoplifter, who was stealing pressure washers from the garden center, police said. In surveillance video, the man is fleeing the store when Rasor steps in to help.

OSHA probes worker’s death at Sioux Falls packaging facility

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed Friday that it is investigating a death that occurred at a Sioux Falls packaging facility earlier this week. OSHA spokesperson Scott Allen said investigators were speaking with employees and the owner of Bell Inc. to determine what happened in the Tuesday incident. The Argus Leader reports Allen was not able to disclose how the employee died or any identifying details. Bell Inc.’s website says it is a Sioux Falls-based packaging company that specializes in food packaging, mail envelopes and consumer products.

Truck Driver Killed in Crash with Train on US-27 in Clewiston, FL

Clewiston, FL — November 28, 2022, a 37-year-old truck driver died in a collision with a train on U.S. High way 27 in Hendry County. Authorities say the incident happened around 2:45 a.m. at a railroad crossing on US-27 near Flagler Street. Preliminary investigation suggests a semi-truck disregarded a crossing gate for unknown reasons and collided with the right side of a passing train. The impact derailed the train and the truck caught fire. The truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene. No one aboard the train, which was pulling 46 empty cars, was injured.

Suspect arrested in connection to shooting death of Dallas store employee

DALLAS, TX — Police say a suspect has been arrested in connection to the death of a Family Dollar store employee in Dallas. According to Dallas police, 22-year-old Diavian Roberts was arrested on Dec. 3. Roberts was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force and charged with murder. On Dec. 1, police said officers responded to a call at the Family Dollar store located at 1928 E. Ledbetter Drive. When they got there, they found Tenery Walker, 46, inside the store with a gunshot wound. Walker was taken to a local hospital where he died.

Pottsville Sanitation Worker Killed By Falling Sign: Coroner

Pottsville, PA — A sanitation worker in Schuylkill County died after being struck by a falling street sign, officials say. Kerry A. Spiess, 36, of Pottsville, was working on a sanitation truck in the 100 block of North Progress Avenue early in the morning on Sept. 6 when his truck backed into a standing sign pole, said the Lehigh County Coroner’s Office in a release. Spiess stepped down off the back of the truck onto the sidewalk, when the sign fell and hit him on the head, officials added. He died at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest on Friday, Dec. 2.

Yonkers police sergeant dies in car crash while on duty

YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) — An on-duty police sergeant died Thursday after his unmarked vehicle was struck by a car heading in the opposite direction north of New York City. The 24-year veteran of the Yonkers Police Department was heading west in the Westchester County city at about 3:30 p.m. when the driver of an eastbound BMW sedan apparently lost control and crossed into oncoming traffic. The sedan struck the police vehicle and a county bus, according to a news release from the department. The sergeant, who was alone in the police vehicle, died at a hospital. Police were withholding the officer’s name pending family notifications.

Man found dead at oilfield site near Malaga in southeast New Mexico

Malaga, NM — A man was killed, and another was injured in an incident at an oilfield location near Malaga Monday, police said, and the case was being investigated by the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office. Glen Ray Martin, 45, of Panhandle, Texas was found dead at the oil well site owned by Mewbourne Oil Company, police said. Deputies were called to the scene at about 9:30 a.m. near the intersection of U.S. Highway 285 and Pulley Road, also known as County Road 721, police said. The two men were working at the site when the incident occurred, police said.The other man was found by detectives suffering from “extensive injuries,” read a news release from the Sheriff’s Office and was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. Martin was determine to be dead at the scene by the Office of the Medical Examiner. The cause of death was not determined, and the Sheriff’s Office did not immediately disclose the nature of the incident or the names of the men.

FedEx employee dead after ‘two-vehicle accident’ at World Hub in Memphis

Memphis, TN –A 48-year-old male FedEx employee died Wednesday after a “two-vehicle accident” at the FedEx World Hub, according to Memphis Police Department and airport officials. FedEx did not release the identity of the employee or provide any additional details regarding the incident. The employee is the seventh Memphis-area FedEx worker to die at work since 2014 and the third employee to die this year.

Missing Worker Found Dead Off Of Smith Point

SHIRLEY, NY — A 45-year-old Far Rockaway man who disappeared while working at Smith Point County Marina in Shirley nearly two weeks ago was found on Wednesday morning and he apparently drowned, Suffolk police said. Pierre Morris, an employee of H&L Contracting of Hauppauge, was working on a boat at the marina on Nov. 18 when he is believed to have gone overboard. He was reported missing by a co-worker around 3:20 p.m. that day, police said. Marine Bureau officers were called to Smith Point County Park around 11:40 a.m. on Wednesday after a man, positively identified as Morris, was found unresponsive off the east concourse, police said. He was declared dead at the scene, police stated in a news release.

Waste Authority Worker Dies On the Job

Rio Arriba County, NM — North Central Solid Waste employee Alfred Trujillo, 47, died on Nov. 23 after being run over by an trash truck, according to Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office Major Lorenzo Aguilar. A press release from North Central Solid Waste General Manager Janet Saucedo said Trujillo was injured on Tuesday, Nov. 22, around noon, near Dixon, and was airlifted to the University of New Mexico where he died. Aguilar said the driver of the truck was Peter Velarde, who reported the incident. According to Aguilar, Velarde said Trujillo fell off the truck, but Velarde didn’t see him fall and proceeded to back up the sanitation truck. Velarde said he saw Trujillo injured on the ground after backing up, Aguilar said, citing the police report. At press time it was not clear if Trujillo was standing on the truck’s riding steps when he fell.

Tractor-trailer driver killed on 495 Express Lanes

Fairfax County, VA — A tractor-trailer driver died Wednesday evening after being struck by an SUV while running across the 495 Express Lanes following a crash. The wreck happened at 7:53 p.m. near Braddock Road in Fairfax County when the tractor-trailer and a sedan collided in the northbound main lines of Interstate 495. The crash caused the sedan to come to rest on the left shoulder of Express Lanes, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said. The tractor-trailer got out of the truck and was running across the Express Lanes towards the sedan when he was struck by an SUV traveling north in the Express Lanes, Geller said. He was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he died, Geller said. State police have not released the man’s identity

One person dies after construction accident in Omaha on Wednesday

OMAHA, Neb. — Tracy Baslee, 56, of Davey, Nebraska died after a construction accident in Omaha on Wednesday. Around 11:30 a.m., construction workers were attempting to connect two pipes on the side of the roadway near 150th Street and Wycliffe Drive, according to Omaha police. A bucket connected to a backhoe detached and fell on a worker, authorities said. Omaha police said an officer started CPR when they arrived at the scene. First responders transported the victim in critical condition to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

OSHA investigating man’s death at port

Guam — It’s been a week now since that tragic accident atop a crane at the Port Authority of Guam. Authorities aren’t ready to say how it happened or confirm the victim’s name. Officials with federal OSHA confirmed with KUAM News they are investigating the incident that left one man dead. Port General Manager Rory Respicio briefly discussed the case with board members during their meeting. On Nov. 25, first responders had to climb to the top of the damaged crane to recover the man’s body.

Oklahoma marijuana farm where 4 workers were killed is among 63 run by ‘accountant’

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Narcotics agents suspect that the marijuana farm where four workers were executed Nov. 20 is one of hundreds operating illegally in Oklahoma, court records indicate. Law enforcement officials said they don’t believe this was a random event. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation identified a suspect in a quadruple homicide at a marijuana farm outside a small town in Oklahoma, but won’t release the person’s name because doing so would put others in danger, the agency said Tuesday. Police said that a male suspect entered a building at the marijuana farm located west of Hennessey, Oklahoma, at 5:45 p.m. local time on Sunday and allegedly killed three men and one woman. One person was injured and was airlifted to an area hospital, police said.

Store employee dead after shooting at Kwik Sak, suspects in custody

Hermitage, TN — A Kwik Sak clerk is shot and killed on the job. It happened last night in Hermitage, and now two people are being questioned in the case. Metro Police said one of two male suspects shot and killed an employee behind the counter around 4 p.m. at a the Kwik Sak gas station in Hermitage.

Construction worker killed in Saratoga Springs work site accident;

Albany, NY — Nelson Bernard, 52, of Hoosick Falls, was taken to Saratoga Hospital and then on to Albany Medical Center after the Nov. 22 accident, police said. Bernard died of his injuries two days later at Albany Med, police said Monday. The incident happened at the 5 Washington St. site at about 3:30 p.m. last Tuesday. Rescuers were called there for a report of an accident. Saratoga Springs Fire Department personnel tended to the victim at the scene. Police determined his injuries came from falling debris, as well as the victim falling from an elevated position.

Worker killed in attempted robbery at Bay Area gas station

Antioch, CA — Police who responded to an Antioch Chevron early Saturday morning found a man lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to the head. The suspect was not immediately located.

Salina man killed in workplace accident

SALINA, Kan. (KWCH) – The Saline County Sheriff’s Office said a man died in an on-the-job accident last week. The sheriff’s office said around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23, emergency crews responded to Crestwood, Incorporated. A worker at the cabinetry business was trapped under a 1,800-pound load of wood. The man, identified as 27-year-old Nathaniel Goben, was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries.


Wagoner, OK — The Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers say a tow truck driver was killed while loading a car onto a wrecker over the weekend. According to troopers, 31-year-old John Mills from Muskogee was on the shoulder of Highway 69 near Wagoner on Saturday night when another car hit him. Troopers say the car then rolled and landed upside down and the driver was pinned until firefighters freed him and sent him to the hospital for a head injury. Troopers are still investigating what caused the crash and whether anyone will be ticketed.

Manassas man died in Leesburg workplace accident

Leesburg VA — A 40-year-old man from Manassas died on Saturday as a result of an accident while working on a site in Leesburg, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. Heidy Ricardo Lopez Rivas died after falling off the back of a moving truck at a worksite on the 23000 block of Evergreen Mill Road, according to a release from the sheriff’s office. Deputies and firefighters from the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System responded to the scene shortly after 9:30 a.m. on Saturday for reports of a man falling off a truck. Investigators say the driver of the truck immediately stopped. Lopez Rivas was pronounced dead at the scene.

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