Last week, workers were killed in falls, machinery, chemical plant explosion, shootings, plane crashes, electrocutions and vehicular incidents. 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.
Construction worker dead after condo balcony collapse near Jersey Shore boardwalk
Sea Isle City, NJ — A construction worker died after being trapped underneath a balcony that collapsed at a condominium high-rise near the Jersey Shore boardwalk Friday, authorities said. Jose Pereira, 43, of Philadelphia, was pinned under a concrete slab that collapsed Friday afternoon in Sea Isle City, according to officials.
OSHA investigating fatal workplace accident near Sullivan City
Sullivan City, TX –The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating after a workplace accident left a worker dead in a quarry near Sullivan City, according to Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra. The sheriff’s office and other law enforcement agencies were dispatched to the area of U.S. Expressway 83 on Vanderpool Road at around 8 a.m. Saturday in response to an operator getting trapped in an excavator that was in a sedimentary pond, Guerra said. The body of the unidentified operator in his 40s was pulled out of the pond Saturday afternoon. “Where the excavator was, the soil around it did not collapse,” Guerra said. “It appears that the excavator drove into the pond.”
Equipment falls on worker, killing him in Beavercreek Twp.
Beavercreek Twp, Ohio — A man died Tuesday at Jeff Schmitt Lawn & Motor Sports in Beavercreek Twp. after equipment fell on him. “On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Zachary Bilinovich tragically passed away in an incident while working on a piece of equipment at our lawn and motorsports store,’ said Jay Schmitt of Jeff Schmitt Auto Group. Ken Montgomery from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the agency was notified of the 33-year-old’s death that evening. Bilinovich was putting a square hay baler together when it fell on top of him, Montgomery said.
Port worker dies on the job
SAN PEDRO, Calif. – An employee died at the port yesterday, according to employees on the scene. Little details have emerged to what employees call a “common” occurrence but from what they have shared, the person was crushed between two trucks. The union is currently in contract negotiations and the safety of its workers should be a priority. The individual has not been publicly identified as of today.
Man dies in accident at Kansas petroleum refiner
BUTLER COUNTY, KS —Law enforcement authorities and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration are investigating a fatal work place icncident at petroleum refiner Holly Frontier 1401 Douglas Road in El Dorado. On February 18, a 31-year-old contract worker from Alvin, Texas was working in a confined space when other crew members lost contact with him, according to a statement from the Butler County Sheriff’s office. Emergency crews on site recovered the man and he was transported to a local hospital where he pronounced dead. The sheriff’s office released no additional details.
Man dies after accident involving baler at work in Beavercreek; OSHA investigating
BEAVERCREEK, OH — A man is dead after an accident involving a baler in Beavercreek on Tuesday. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) received the report of a fatality from Jeff Schmitt Lawn & Motor Sports in Beavercreek around 4:30 p.m., according to a spokesperson for OSHA. The company reported to OSHA that a 33-year-old male worker was assembling a baler when it fell on top of him, causing fatal injuries.
City of Laredo employee dies in accident at water plant
Laredo, TX — The City of Laredo announced Thursday, Feb. 23 that an employee was involved in a fatal accident at the Jefferson Water Treatment Plant. The city confirmed the victim was a 52-year-old male but did not yet reveal his identity. According to the city, the employee was working inside an empty tank on a ladder when he fell down between 30 to 35 feet. Aid was rendered by other employees until paramedics arrived. Paramedics initiated cardiac life support before crew got him out of the empty tank. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he later died.
Lineman dies after electrocuted on job on Double Churches Rd. in Columbus
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – A lineman was electrocuted on the job in Columbus. According to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan, the victim has been identified as 26-year-old Cody Lange. Bryan says Lange was electrocuted while working on powerlines in the 1400 block of Double Churches Road on February 20. Lange was pronounced dead at 12:17AM on February 21, according to Bryan. Lange’s body is being sent for an autopsy.
Dump Truck Driver Killed In 3 Vehicle Collision In Anne Arundel County
DAVIDSONVILLE, Md. – On February 23, 2023, at 3:59 p.m., Southern District officers responded to Solomons Island Road at Birdsville Road for a crash involving multiple vehicles. The investigation revealed that a 2023 Kenworth W900 dump truck was traveling northbound on Solomons Island Road, approaching Birdsville Road. A 2001 Dodge Dakota pick-up truck was traveling eastbound on Birdsville Road approaching Solomons Island Road. The driver of the Dodge attempted to make a left turn on Solomons Island Road in front of the Kenworth. The driver of the Kenworth was unable to avoid striking the Dodge, causing the Dodge to rotate into the southbound lane of Solomons Island Road. The Kenworth crossed over the southbound lane, traveled up an embankment, and overturned, causing the vehicle to catch fire and fully engulf the cab. The driver of the Kenworth, who has not yet been identified, was trapped in the vehicle and deceased at the scene.
Chicago-Area Worker Dies After Trapped in Water Main Vault
WESTMONT, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago worker died Thursday after becoming trapped in a vault that filled with water after a line broke. Westmont Public Works staff contacted fire and police around 11:45 a.m. to respond to the worker, Matt Heiden, who was trapped in an underground vault that was under water from a break in a water main, the village of Westmont said in a news release. Heiden was recovered around 12:40 p.m. and was found unresponsive, authorities said. Lifesaving measures were attempted and the person was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.
Man killed in Arizona workplace attack identified as plant employee
Phoenix, AZ — The person killed over the weekend at a microprocessor manufacturing facility in suburban Phoenix was a 49-year-old man who worked at the plant, authorities said Monday. Chandler police identified the victim as Dan Foster, an employee of the Intel plant. Court documents say he was found dead in the cafeteria of Intel’s Ocotillo Campus with blunt-force trauma from a baseball bat. A hatchet and knife were also found at the scene. Fellow worker Jaron Williams, 27, was also hurt in the attack and hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening. Chandler police said another worker, 50-year-old Derrick Lemond Simmons, was booked into Maricopa County jail Saturday on suspicion of first-degree murder and aggravated assault.
Worker killed after getting trapped in laser cutting machine, police say
KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB/Gray News) – A worker in Nebraska was killed on the job Monday morning when he became trapped in a laser cutting machine, police said. According to Kearney Police Lt. Derek Luke, first responders were called to MACH 1 Manufacturing at about 5:45 a.m. for reports of a man trapped in a machine.
Luke said when officers arrived, the worker had already died from his injuries. The worker has been identified as 50-year-old Greg Geist.Truck
Forklift crushes worker to death in Plant City
PLANT CITY, Fla. — A forklift operator died after an industrial accident, the Plant City Police Department said in a news release Friday evening. At around 6:45 p.m., police arrived at a property on Turkey Creek Road near Business Lane. Upon investigating, they learned that a 23-year-old man operating a forklift lost control before the machine fell onto him, police said. Others at the property helped remove the forklift from on top of the man, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have not released his name, but said the 23-year-old was a Wesley Chapel resident.
Security Chief Shot, Killed at Temple Hills Skating Rink
Temple Hills, MD — Members of the Temple Hills community are heartbroken after a security guard, Eugene Smith, was shot and killed outside a skating rink
The head of security at a Temple Hills, Maryland, roller skating rink was shot and killed late Thursday while visiting on his day off, the owner of the rink tells News4. Officers responded to DMV All Skate Social on Branch Avenue about 11:30 p.m. for a report of a shooting, Prince George’s County police said. A man was found inside the building suffering from a gunshot wound, then pronounced dead on the scene, police said. Rink owner Jacqueline Wiggins said the victim was shot outside the building by someone in a car who then drove off. The victim, 31-year-old Eugene Smith, was a father of five, Wiggins said. She stressed there were no fights or incidents inside prior to what happened, calling the guard a community guy.
Flint firefighter dies in the line of duty
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) – The Flint Fire Department is mourning the loss of a firefighter who died in the line of duty Saturday afternoon. The death came after Flint fire crews responded to a vacant trailer just before 2 p.m. in the Elms Mobile Home Park in the 2800 block of South Dort Highway. The trailer was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Multiple sources say the firefighter collapsed on the scene. Apparatus Operator Ricky Hill Jr. received immediate help and was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
5 dead, including patient, in Nev. air ambulance crash
STAGECOACH, Nev. — All five people aboard a medical transport flight, including a patient, were killed in a plane crash Friday night in northern Nevada, according to an air ambulance company. The Lyon County Sheriff’s office said authorities began receiving calls about the crash near Stagecoach, Nevada, around 9:15 p.m. and found the wreckage two hours later. Stagecoach is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southeast of Reno. Care Flight, which provides ambulance service by plane and helicopter, said the dead included the pilot, a flight nurse, a flight paramedic, a patient and a patient’s family member. The crash occurred amid a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service in Reno for large swaths of Nevada, including parts of Lyon County.
Semi driver killed after truck overturns in Georges Township
GEORGES TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A semi driver died after the truck he was driving overturned on a deceleration ramp in Fayette County. According to Pennsylvania State Police, the accident happened on Route 43 near Exit 8/Big Six Road just after 12:30 p.m. Friday. State police said the driver “failed to exit safely” on the deceleration ramp and went onto the grass portion of the gore area. The semi overturned onto the driver’s side and slid up the ramp, police said.
Driver Killed in Truck Accident in Jeff Davis County, TX
Jeff Davis County, TX — January 13. 2023, two commercial trucks collided around 6 p.m. while traveling along a curve on State Highway 17.Authorities report that northwest of Fort Davis, TX two commercial vehicles were traveling in opposite directions along a sharp curve over Limpia Creek. Crash investigators say that as a Peterbilt semi-truck was traveling southbound both the tractor and trailer overturned on its left side and slid over the center line into the path of an International LT625 tractor-tailer.Investigators believe that the trailer of the International LT625 was forced into the passenger compartment of its tractor.The driver of the Peterbilt is reported to have possible injuries but received no treatment. Authorities pronounced the driver of the International LT625 dead, and a passenger in the International LT625 reportedly suffered serious injuries.
Driver killed in Chatham County after crash with lumber truck
CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) — A driver was killed in Chatham County after a crash with a lumber truck. An SUV was traveling north on U.S. 421 on Wednesday when it hit the back of a flatbed truck that was hauling pre-cut lumber, according to State Highway Patrol. The lumber that was hanging off the truck broke the windshield and killed the person driving the SUV. The identity of the person has not been released at this time.
Lineworker killed in Turner Co. accident identified
ASHBURN, Ga. (WALB) – A lineworker died after an accident while on the job Wednesday afternoon, according to James Lumpkin, Turner County coroner. Lumpkin said the worker was on Bussey Road when he was fatally injured. Irwin EMC, who the man was working for at the time, said that he was changing a power pole when the injury occurred. The worker killed was identified as John Candler Bell, 24, according to Lumpkin.
Lyft driver killed in Near West Side shooting ‘was a loving and wonderful person’
Chicago, IL — Milton Pillacella-Ayora had come to Chicago from Ecuador as a teenager and was working as a driver for the Lyft ride-hailing service to save up money for a house. Monday night, Pillacella-Ayora picked up a Lyft passenger and was stopped at a red belight on the Near West Side when a silver SUV pulled up and someone inside opened fire, according to Chicago police. Pillacella-Ayora, 31, was taken to Stroger Hospital and pronounced dead. The passenger, 34, was taken to the hospital in fair condition with gunshot wounds to the legs. Pillacella-Ayora was the eldest of four siblings and lived with his younger brother, according to his stepmother, Rosanita Leon, 55.
1 TV news employee shot dead, another wounded, covering previous shooting in Orange County, Florida, police say
Orlando, FL — 24-year-old Dylan Lyons, an Orlando television news employee, was shot dead and another wounded Wednesday while covering an earlier shooting incident in Florida, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said. Mina said the two journalists — a photographer and reporter — were on the scene to cover the homicide that morning and were shot in or around their vehicle.
Employee shot, killed at Yokohama plant, suspect at large
West Point, Miss — An employee was fatally shot in the parking lot of the Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi plant in West Point, Miss. Police are searching for Willie Swain Jr., 41, “a person of interest” in a fatal shooting that reportedly occurred outside of the Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi plant just after 7 a.m. Feb. 22, according to Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott.
Man killed after explosion at Oakwood foundry was employee for nearly 30 years
Oakwood, OH — The identity of an employee with I. Schumann & Co. in Oakwood, who died after an afternoon explosion on Monday at the foundry, was confirmed Tuesday afternoon. Matt Barkett, a public relations representative for the company, said Steven Mullins, 46, who had been with the company for nearly 30 years in maintenance, died due to the explosion. The blast and three-alarm blaze drew a massive fire and emergency medical response to the Alexander Road alloy company, with smoke visible as far south as Stow and Cuyahoga Falls and as far north as downtown Cleveland. Thirteen were reported injured in the explosion.
Plane flying team to Oakwood explosion site crashes, kills 5
Columbus, OH — All five passengers aboard a flight headed to Columbus from Arkansas were killed when their plane crashed Wednesday afternoon. All aboard, including the pilot, were employed by CTEH, an environmental consulting firm in North Little Rock. According to the EPA, CTEH had worked in East Palestine following the Feb. 3 train derailment. They were flying to Columbus in response to an explosion and large fire at the Schumann and Company Metals Plant in Oakwood where a maintenance worker was killed and 13 people were sent to hospitals after the Monday afternoon incident. An official from CTEH said the plane piloted by Sean Sweeney carried Gunter Beaty, Kyle Bennett, Micah Kendrick, and Glenmarkus Walker.
Firefighter dies at scene by fallen powerline
PAW PAW, Mich. — Michigan State Police confirmed Wednesday night that a firefighter has died due to electrocution by a fallen power line. The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. on 30th Street near Red Arrow Highway in Van Buren County, according to police. The firefighter was taken to Bronson Priority One Hospital according to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. He has since been identified as 28-year-old Paw Paw volunteer firefighter Ethan Quillen, who has been volunteering with the department since 2019.
TEMPLE UNIVERSITY POLICE OFFICER KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY
Philadelphia, PA — Officer Christopher Fitzgerald of Temple University Police Department was killed in the line of duty. Members of the Williamsport Bureau of Police would like to extend their deepest condolences to the family of Officer Fitzgerald and members of Temple University Police during this difficult time.
Memphis police officer dies from wounds in library shooting
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Memphis police officer died Saturday from wounds sustained more than two weeks ago when he was shot while responding to a confrontation at a library, authorities said. Officer Geoffrey Redd was critically wounded Feb. 2 at the Poplar-White Station Library. Redd, 49, was transported to Regional One Health, where he died “despite the best efforts” by the hospital staff, Memphis police said. “Rest easy, Officer Redd. You will be missed,” the department said in announcing his death. Redd served in the U.S. Marine Corps before joining the police department in 2008. He also served as director of security at his church.