Over the last week, worker shot for “brandishing” company-issued cutter, workers killed in chemical tank explosion, electrocutions, falls, forklift, vehicle and excavator incidents. All in a day’s work. On average, over 100 workers are killed every week in the United States due to traumatic injuries suffered at work. More than 20 times as many die from occupational diseases, many due to exposure to hazardous substances many years before they died. 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. Nevertheless the accounts below gave you a taste of the preventable carnage occurring in workplaces across the country every day.
Investigation underway into fatal police shooting of Sudanese worker at Oklahoma pork processing plant
Guyman City, OK — Oklahoma state police are investigating the fatal shooting of a Sudanese worker by local police officers at a pork processing plant earlier this month. The union which represents workers at the plant has called for an immediate federal investigation into the Jan. 9 fatal shooting of Chiewelthap Mariar, 26, by Guymon City police while he was working at the Seaboard Foods pork processing plant. According to the union, Mariar was a Sudanese refugee who immigrated to the U.S. with his family. On the night of the shooting, police arrived at the plant – which employs 2,600 people – to answer a call about a disgruntled employee, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) said. As the officers were speaking to Mariar, he produced a knife and started to advance towards them, OSBI said. After attempting to de-escalate the situation, officers used a taser to stun Mariar, OSBI reports. The taser did not stop Mariar’s advancement, OSBI said, so an officer pulled his gun and shot him. Mariar was rushed to the hospital where he died, OSBI reports. A worker, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Guardian newspaper that Mariar was fired earlier that day, but had been asked by a supervisor to stay on to finish his shift. “I witnessed the entire thing, from when they [presumably the supervisor] started arguing with him until he was shot,” the worker said, explaining that Mariar “had a company-issued band-cutter in his hand. When the police got to the plant, the guy was already working, minding his own business.” (More on this later)
1 killed, 4 injured in tank explosion at Kentucky facility
GUTHRIE, Ky. — One worker was killed and four others were injured in an explosion at an industrial facility in western Kentucky, officials said. The explosion happened Wednesday while a truck was pumping waste chemicals from the Quick Turn Anodizing facility in Guthrie, Todd County Emergency Management Director Daniel Smith told news outlets. One employee died and four others were injured in the blast, Guthrie Police Chief Dean Blumel told WSMV-TV. A vacuum truck waste hauler from Onsite Environmental was removing the chemicals when steam was seen coming from the area of the truck, the emergency management agency said Thursday in a statement. Within minutes, the tank exploded and struck two employees, killing one. Also injured were the driver of the truck, a Guthrie city employee and another Quick Turn employee. Officials think chemicals mixed resulting in a reaction that created too much pressure inside the tank, the statement said. Todd County Coroner Timothy Wells identifies the victim as 34-year old Bryan Bonilla of Clarksville, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Truck driver killed in northeast Kansas accident
BEATRICE, KS – The driver of a semitrailer truck was killed when his vehicle went off a road in northeast Kansas. The victim, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol, was 24-year-old Cody Thomas Carson, of Muscotah, Kansas. The KHP says Carson’s 2017 Freightliner truck was traveling west on 330th Road in Brown County when the vehicle left the roadway to the right, entering the north ditch. The tractor and trailer overturned, hit a culvert and came to rest in the north ditch, at the base of a steep embankment. Carson died at the scene. The accident happened Wednesday, at around 2:30 p.m…about two miles south of the Kansas-Nebraska state line…east of Reserve, Kansas. Investigators said they were not certain why the truck left the roadway.
Exercise rider killed in Florida horse track accident
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — An exercise rider at a Florida horse track died Saturday in a training accident, officials said. Tampa Bay Downs said 19-year-old Daniel Quintero was fatally injured while working with horses before 7 a.m., but declined to give further details. “The entire racetrack community expresses its condolences to his family members and friends,” track officials said in a statement. A moment of silence was held for Quintero before Saturday’s race card began. Hillsborough County sheriff’s spokesman Marco Villarreal said detectives are investigating the death, but it does not appear foul play was involved. Track announcer Jason Beem told The Tampa Bay Times that Quintero was killed in an accident involving two horses.
Power line worker electrocuted
Hammond, LA — An electrical employee working on a power line on Morrison Boulevard in Hammond was electrocuted Thursday morning. Hammond fire officials said the man was burned while inside the bucket attachment of the truck. The incident was caused by an electrical arc. Officials said the man, who was not identified, was transported to North Oaks Hospital and listed in stable condition Friday. The incident also caused a brief power outage in the area, which is located near Ross Downing Chevrolet.
1 dead, 1 injured and taken to UIHC after fall from scaffold at Farmtek in Dyersville
Dyersville, IA — One man was killed and another was injured in a fall from a scaffold last week in Dyersville, according to a news release from the city’s chief of police. At 8:37 a.m. Thursday, emergency responders were dispatched for an industrial accident at Farmtek, at 1440 Field of Dreams Way in southwest Dyersville. Police found two victims who had fallen about 20 feet from a portable scaffold. One was not breathing and police began CPR. One who fell was identified as 50-year-old Bruce Bockenstedt of Manchester. He was transported to a Dyersville hospital and did not survive his injuries. The other was transported to a Dubuque hospital and later transferred to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Police did not have an update on his status.
24-year-old worker dies after reportedly falling from bucket lift in Rangeley
Rangeley, ME — A worker died Tuesday morning after he reportedly fell from a bucket lift in Rangeley. A subtractor for Consolidated Communications died Tuesday morning after falling from a bucket lift in Rangeley. A subcontractor for Consolidated Communications died Tuesday morning after falling from a bucket lift in Rangeley. Credit: Courtesy of the Maine Department of Public Safety. Danila Belov, 24, of Brooklyn, New York, was believed to be in the bucket attached to a 2012 Ford Econoline van traveling south on Route 4, also known as Main Street, about 10:48 a.m. when the bucket hit utility wires suspended over the road, according to Shannon Moss, a spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety. Belov worked as a subcontractor for Consolidated Communications. Despite the efforts of paramedics, Belov died at the scene, Moss said late Tuesday night.
Southern California Edison electrical worker killed in job-related accident in Barstow
Barstow, CA — A Southern California Edison electrical worker died Monday following a work-related accident in the city of Barstow. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local chapter identified the worker as Johnny Kinkade, a union member.
Truck driver killed when tractor-trailer falls from highway overpass onto van below
HARRISON, NY — The driver of a tractor trailer was killed Wednesday in Westchester County when their big rig tumbled off of an overpass and fell onto traffic below. The truck driver was navigating a curved overpass that connects I-287 to I-684 in Harrison around 10:30 a.m. when they lost control. The truck flipped over the guardrail and fell onto the cross-Westchester Expressway below. The truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
Driver killed after tires strike semi-truck on I-280
LAKE TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WTVG) – A driver is dead after a set of tires struck a semi-tractor trailer combination on Interstate 280 Tuesday afternoon. According to the Bowling Green Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the incident occurred around 1:50 p.m. on Jan. 17 on I-280 just south of State Route 795 in Lake Township. Troopers say a semi-tractor trailer combination that was traveling southbound on I-280 lost a set of dual tires from one of its axles. The dual tires then went through the median and struck a semi-tractor trailer combination traveling northbound on I-280, killing the driver. That driver was identified Wednesday as Daniel Gardner, 69, of Bad Axe Mich.
Southern California deputy shot and killed; suspect in custody
Lake Elsinore, CA — A sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed late Friday afternoon in the Southern California city of Lake Elsinore, authorities said. A suspect is in custody. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department reported that the deputy, identified as Darnell Calhoun, was transported to a hospital in serious condition. Calhoun later died of his wounds, the sheriff’s department tweeted Friday night. “We are devastated to announce the passing of Deputy Darnell Calhoun who was killed in the line of duty this afternoon,” the sheriff’s department wrote. The incident unfolded around 4:20 p.m. on Friday as Calhoun responded to the 18000 block of Hilldale Lane in the unincorporated area of Lakeland Village regarding unknown trouble, according to a news release. As Calhoun got closer to the residence, the suspect began firing at him. Another deputy arrived, and the suspect began firing at him as well. The suspect was wounded and taken into custody. He was taken to a local hospital and treated for his injuries, and is in critical condition.
Store Clerk Killed In Robbery At A Gas Station Near Philadelphia; Three Suspects Sought
Philadelphia, PA — In the Tacony neighbourhood of Philadelphia, a store clerk was gunned down and died while working inside of a petrol station. Tuesday morning, just after 4 o’clock, the incident took place at the Exxon station located in the 7100 block of Torresdale Avenue. The entire occurrence was captured on camera by the CCTV system. The employee side of the counter at the convenience store was reportedly broken into by three individuals wearing masks, according to the police. They confronted the store clerk, who was 67 years old, and shot him once in the back during the altercation.
Cement truck driver killed in crash near Columbia
Columbia, MO — A one-vehicle crash Monday afternoon involving a cement truck on Route Z near Columbia has killed the truck driver. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says 22-year-old Troy Boshears was pronounced dead at the scene about 20 minutes after the crash, which happened at 12:20 on Monday. The victim is from mid-Missouri’s Paris, which is east of Moberly. State troopers say Mr. Boshears traveled off the right side of Route Z, re-entered the highway and then traveled off the left side of the road before overturning. The cement truck came to rest on its top.
Man killed in industrial accident at Gaston County construction site
BELMONT, N.C. (WBTV) – A man was killed following an industrial accident at a construction site in Belmont on Monday afternoon, police said. According to the Belmont Police Department, the accident happened around 3:31 p.m. on Nixon Road. Mario Zambrano died at the scene. Detectives said the man suffered the fatal injuries in an accident involving an excavator. Neighbors say they’ve noticed construction workers in the area for months. A spokesperson with the city of Belmont confirmed Zambrano worked for Paragon Site Solutions, LLC. WBTV has reached out to the company for comment.
Employee killed after van crashes into business
Tooele, Utah — A woman was killed on Monday after she was pinned by a minivan that crashed through a business, also injuring another employee inside. The crash happened in Tooele, Utah just outside of Salt Lake City. The business is “Ensign Engineering and Land Survey.” The crash happened just after 11:30 a.m. local time when the driver of a minivan was seen driving northbound in the southbound lanes of a busy street. A female employee was pinned at her desk at the front of the store in the accident. First responders tried to save the woman, but she died soon after from her injuries.
Parton Lumber employee dies after being hit with forklift
RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. (WLOS) — One person was killed in a workplace accident Friday in Rutherford County, authorities said. The Rutherford County Sheriff’s said the worker died after being hit by a forklift at Parton Lumber.