Weekly Toll

Last week: Workers killed fighting fires, falling off buildings, crushed under pallets and walls, hit by a train, mauled by dogs, killed by vehicles and shot. 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.

Vice mayor, Virginia Department of Forestry employee killed fighting fire

BUCHANAN COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A man who was both the Vice Mayor to the Town of Haysi and a Virginia state employee was killed while fighting a forest fire in Buchanan County on Thursday. Around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, units with the Virginia Department of Forestry were called to Lester’s Fork Road near the Roseann community in Buchanan County for a forest fire. According to authorities, Rocky S. Wood, a VDOF employee from the Western Region’s Vansant Office, died while fighting the 15-acre wildfire.

Worker dies in fall from Delaware Tower Condos

Buffalo, NY — A worker died in a fall at the Delaware Tower Condominiums at 1088 Delaware Ave. on Monday afternoon, Buffalo police said Wednesday. The worker “fell from a seventh-story patio while working on the building,” police said. The worker suffered serious injuries and “died a short time later,” police said. His name was not released. He was described as a 49-year-old Lancaster man. The incident remained under investigation Wednesday.

Construction Worker Who Died After Falling Off East Rankin Academy Roof Identified

Pelahatchie, MS — A construction worker fell off of the roof at East Rankin Academy yesterday and died. According to Rankin County Coroner David Ruth. He has been identified as Timothy Brister. Mike Word, with Rankin County Emergency Management Operations, said that he fell approximately 20 feet and had severe head trauma. He was life-flighted to the hospital but later died. He did have fall protection and was not clipped in at the time of the accident. The Pelahatchie Volunteer Fire Department, Pafford Ambulance, and Rankin EOC all responded to the accident.

Carpenter killed in incident at casino construction site in Washington

Spokane, WA — A 27-year-old carpenter was killed at a Washington casino construction site, media outlets and a union reported. Ana Vetter, a 27-year-old carpenter, was killed March 7 at a construction site at the Spokane Tribal Casino in Washington, a union said. Screengrab from Spokane Tradeswomen’s Facebook A 27-year-old carpenter was killed at a Washington casino construction site, media outlets and a union reported. Ana Vetter, a journeyman carpenter, died in a work-related incident Tuesday, March 7, at the Spokane Tribal Casino, the Spokane Tradeswomen, a labor union, said in a Facebook post. Police said they responded to the fatal incident involving a worker around 9:35 a.m. at the construction site, the Airway Heights Police Department said.

Calif. Worker Dies After Being Mauled by Four Dogs at Business: ‘This Is a Tragedy’

Riverside County, CA — A man in California died on Wednesday after four dogs attacked him. The man, whose identity was not released, was working at a Jurupa Valley home that was recently converted into a business, the Riverside County Department of Animal Services shared in a news update. The victim appeared to be in his 30s. The Riverside County Department of Animal Services shared in a news release on Wednesday that three of the dogs were Belgian Malinois, and the fourth was a Cane Corso.


Fort Worth, TX — At around 11:00am Tuesday, multiple emergency responders from Fort Worth FD and PD along with MedStar EMS responded to the 3100 block of Northwest Centre Drive for a construction-related accident. Officials say a 39-year-old Omar Sandoval was installing a roof on a building when he fell off the roof. Paramedics pronounced the worker deceased at the scene from blunt-force injuries. The death was an accident; however, a homicide detective responded as per Department protocol. No foul play is suspected. The investigation is ongoing.

Norfolk Southern Conductor Death in Ohio Shows Need to Boost Rail Safety Rules

Cleveland, OH — A Norfolk Southern conductor was killed in Ohio early Tuesday, elevating scrutiny of the rail giant and calls for dramatic improvements to industry safety regulations in the wake of a devastating derailment in the state last month. Louis Shuster, president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Division 607, was fatally injured when a dump truck collided with a train while he was on the outside of a railcar at the Cleveland-Cliffs Cleveland Works steel plant. “Lou was a passionate and dedicated union brother,” said Pat Redmond, local chairman of the BLET division. “He was always there for his coworkers. He was very active in helping veterans who worked on the railroad and veterans all across our community.” The 46-year-old Army veteran was a father to a 16-year-old son and a caregiver for his elderly parents, according to the union.

Shooting at downtown South Bend parking garage leaves security guard dead

SOUTH BEND, IN — The man who was shot and killed Sunday night in a downtown South Bend parking garage was a security guard, police say. Robert Pulliam, Jr., 62, worked for a company that contracted with the city, and he “observed a suspicious person and activity” in the parking garage in the moments before he was killed. According to the South Bend Police Department, Pulliam confronted the person, who then shot the security guard. South Bend police did not say what caused Pulliam to investigate the “suspicious person.”

Worker killed in pedestrian crash on U.S. 70 in Wayne Co.

WAYNE COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – A pedestrian accident killed a workerpul this morning on a busy Wayne County highway. The Highway Patrol said the crash happened around 9:40 a.m. on U.S. 70 near the intersection with Uzzell Road, east of Goldsboro. Troopers said a car was heading west on the four-lane highway when he hit a pedestrian who had walked out into the road in front of a job site. The name of the person killed has yet to be released as the family hasn’t been notified. The driver, who is from Kinston, was not injured.

Worker killed, another injured in Oakland warehouse roof collapse

OAKLAND, CA — One person was killed, a second injured and a massive Oakland warehouse red tagged following an early Friday morning roof collapse. Oakland fire said it got a call at 3:15 a.m. reporting the partial collapse at a warehouse located at 650 85th Ave. Arriving firefighters discovered heavy damage to the roof at a corner of the large warehouse and an injured male employee who had succumbed to his injuries. A female worker who was injured was taken to a hospital. “Following a heavy storm, a portion of the roof of a distribution center leased by Peet’s Coffee in Oakland partially collapsed resulting in the death of one of our long-time employees,” the company said in a statement. “Another employee suffered minor injuries.”

Spring Valley worker killed when forklift knocks over pallets of tiles

Spring Valley, NY — A Spring Valley man operating a forklift was killed when boxes of tiles fell on him in West Haverstraw. Police say 52-year-old Carlos Ramirez-Hernandez was found unconscious at KJ Tiles on Beach Road Thursday morning. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. A preliminary investigation revealed that Ramirez-Hernandez was operating a forklift and reversed into commercial metal shelving containing pallets of tile. The impact from that collision caused the tiles to fall on him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

22-year-old construction worker struck, killed on the job in Orange County

Orange County, FL — A construction worker was killed Thursday morning in an Orange County crash. According to Florida Highway Patrol, it happened around 12:30 a.m. in the area of State Route 429 at mile marker 26. Officials say the driver of a construction vehicle began backing up on the exit ramp in an attempt to release materials onto the roadway. The driver said he did not see the 22-year-old fellow construction worker walking in the roadway. As a result, the worker was hit. The young man, who was from Sanford, was taken to Advent Health Apopka Hospital and pronounced dead.

1 dead after wall collapses onto construction workers in SoHo

New York, NY — One construction worker died and three others were injured after a wall collapsed onto them at a demolition work site in SoHo on Tuesday. Workers were performing demolition work on the second floor of 126 Lafayette St. in Manhattan when a wall collapsed, trapping one of them under debris, FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens said. Two other workers fell on top of the debris, and a fourth worker was also injured. The worker who was trapped under the wall debris was taken to Bellevue Hospital in serious condition. Later in the afternoon, the Department of Buildings reported one worker died of their injuries. Their name was not immediately released. “It’s an unfortunate accident. And we are going to be investigating to see how this happened,” Hodgens said. On Feb. 7, the Department of Buildings issued a partial work order at the site and also issued five violations to the contractor, RJB Contracting Carting Corp., for several safety issues found during an inspection.

25-year-old man arrested in deadly shooting of Lucas Oil Stadium worker

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — A suspect has been arrested in the deadly shooting of a Lucas Oil Stadium worker Monday night in downtown Indianapolis, IMPD said Wednesday. IMPD arrested 25-year-old Elijah Hayes for murder. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will make the final charging decisions. Officers responded shortly before 9:45 p.m. on March 6 to 500 S. Capitol Ave., near the northeast corner of the stadium. Police found 35-year-old Donnie Lee Sanders, who had been shot, down on the sidewalk. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Worker killed after possible electrical shock on James Island

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — The Charleston County Coroner’s Office is investigating the circumstances that led to a worker’s death on James Island on Monday. According to the sheriff’s office, deputies responded to the 900 block of Yorktown Drive after 5 p.m. for reports of a worker possibly experiencing an electrical shock while on a lift apparatus. The worker was unresponsive when first responders arrived to the scene, according to CCSO. The Charleston County coroner later identified him as 32-year-old Christopher Bradshaw. According to Dominion Energy, the victim was a private tree trimming contractor.

Semi-truck driver killed in Friday crash

CROCKETT COUNTY, Tenn. — A semi-truck driver was killed in a crash along a highway on Friday in Crockett County. According to a report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a Freightliner and a Chevy Malibu were both traveling west along Highway 412 when the semi-truck rear-ended the Malibu. The impact caused the the Malibu to leave the road and hit a fence, and the semi-truck to also hit a fence and several standing trees. The driver of the Freightliner, Charles A. Hack, 50, of Missouri, died as a result of the crash, according to the THP.

Gardner Edgerton crossing guard who died after getting hit by car ‘touched so many’

Gardmer, MO — A Gardner Edgerton school district crossing guard who was struck by a car while on the job about two weeks ago has died, according to officials. Dave Peavy was struck by a car the morning of Feb. 23 at the intersection of Madison and Buckeye streets near Gardner Edgerton High School and Madison Elementary School. No charges have been filed, and officials believe the situation was an accident. The driver told authorities the sun got in his eyes as he approached, and he didn’t see Peavy enter the intersection.

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