weekly toll

How workers died last week: falls, machinery and vehicle incidents, forklifts, shootings, cranes, firefighting, grain auger. 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.

Tracy worker dies after falling into silo

TRACY, Calif. — A worker at a Tracy sugar plant was killed Saturday after falling into a silo, fire officials said. Around 10:20 a.m., firefighters say they received reports that someone fell into a large silo at the Holly Sugar plant near Holly Drive and Sugar Road.
The worker fell nearly 80 feet into machinery at the bottom of the silo, officials said. He did not survive the fall. Over the course of an hour, 16 first responders developed plans and used a rope system, to get to the worker. The cause of the fall is under investigation, according to fire officials.

Man killed in excavator accident

Yorktown, NY — Yorktown police confirmed that a man was killed in an excavator accident Friday afternoon. They said it happened around 2:30 p.m. when three workers with a landscaping service were removing trees in the backyard of a home off Baptist Church Road west of the Taconic Parkway. Police said one person was operating the excavator while another was just next to it. Then, the excavator tipped over and pinned the worker who was just next to it against a stone wall. The worker was pronounced dead on scene. Police couldn’t go into much detail about it, only to describe the scene as gruesome.

Weekly Toll
Fred Von Gunten III

Employee dies at Modesto company after being trapped beneath forklift

Modesto, CA — A 21-year-old Delhi resident was killed while on the job, operating a forklift, at Champion Industrial Contractors in Modesto on Wednesday afternoon, officials report. The Modesto Fire Department responded to a call for a person trapped at about 2:30 p.m. and found Fred Von Gunten lll pinned underneath the vehicle. Crews used airbags to stabilize the forklift and remove Von Gunten, according to the Fire Department’s incident summary. Lifesaving efforts were made but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

City of Buffalo employee killed, 2 wounded in shooting on I-190

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A city of Buffalo employee was killed and two others were wounded Thursday when the city pickup truck they were in was struck multiple times by gunfire from a passing vehicle, state police said. The shooting in the southbound lanes of Interstate 190 just north of downtown Buffalo was reported at 11:20 a.m. The victims were employees of the Buffalo Sewer Authority and had just finished a job when they were shot as they drove back to the Sewer Authority building, Mayor Byron Brown said. New York State Police said Keyshawn N. Gault, 22, was killed in the shooting.

ISP investigating death of highway worker in Wabash County

WABASH COUNTY, Ind. — Indiana State Police are conducting an investigation after a highway worker died in Wabash County this week. ISP’s Criminal Investigations Division is investigating the circumstances related to the death of highway worker Aaron Burton, 51, at the request of the Wabash County Sheriff’s Office. Preliminary information indicates that Burtin was found inside construction equipment around 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 23, according to ISP. Although life-saving measures were attempted, Burton was pronounced dead at the scene by the Wabash County Coroner. There are currently no signs of foul play ISP said.

Roswell worker killed while responding to water main break

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – A worker with the City of Roswell had died following a trench collapse at a water main break. Information is limited but according to the City, crews responded to the break, and at about 12:40 Saturday morning, something happened that caused the death of the worker. Details about events leading up to the death have not been revealed. The worker was identified as Trey Michael Gray, age 20, who worked for the city’s Water Maintenance and Transmission Department. (Follow-up here.)

Colo. construction worker killed in crane collapse

PUEBLO, Colo. — The construction worker killed on Friday by a falling crane at the Evraz steel mill in Pueblo has been identified. Pierre Warford, 32, was caught in the crane collapse and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a social media post on X released by the Pueblo County Coroner’s office on Monday. The coroner identifies Warford as a resident of Amite, Louisiana. According to Tim Trujillo with the Pueblo Fire Department, firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 11:18 a.m. Friday for reports of a man trapped under a crane that had fallen over at the construction site. The Fire Department’s high-rescue operation team arrived and determined the Warford had died, Trujillo said.

Baltimore City firefighter dies after battling two-alarm rowhome fire, investigation underway

BALTIMORE, MD — A Baltimore City firefighter died, and four other firefighters were injured while trying to fight a fire in a Northwest Baltimore neighborhood on Thursday. Crews responded around 3:30 p.m. to the two-alarm fire at a two-story brick rowhome in the 5200 block of Linden Heights Avenue. The fire spread to three other dwellings. The firefighter who died in the fire was identified as 31-year-old Rodney Pitts, III, of Engine Company #29, according to the department. Pitts had been with the Baltimore City Fire Department for one year and graduated from the fire academy over the summer.

Second firefighter, Lt. Dillon Rinaldo, dies following Northwest Baltimore blaze

BALTIMORE, MD — A second Baltimore City firefighter has died after a two-alarm blaze in Northwest Baltimore left multiple firefighters injured and killed another last week, according to the Baltimore City Fire Department. The firefighter, identified as Lt. Dillon J. Rinaldo of Engine Company #46, died early Wednesday at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he has been hospitalized since the October 19 fire. He was described as being in “critical but stable condition” over the weekend.

Man killed in workplace accident at distillery

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – A worker has died from injuries he sustained in an industrial accident at a distillery in the California neighborhood. Just after 12:40 p.m., Louisville Fire Department crews were called to the Brown-Forman Distillery at Dixie Highway and Garland Ave. Capt. Donovan Sims, an LFD spokesman, said firefighters were told by a witness that a man had fallen from the 6th floor of the building. Firefighters said the man had died before they were able to provide medical aid. Elizabeth Conway, a Brown-Forman spokesperson, said the man who died was a contractor doing work at the plant. Sims said the area of the building where the accident happened was under repair. According to first responders, the man, later identified by his wife as 53-year-old Mark Gibson, died before they were able to provide medical aid.

Two dead, two injured after industrial accident in Grand Tower

GRAND TOWER, Ill. — Two people are dead and two others injured after an incident at the construction site of a pipeline in Grand Tower. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said it happened at 4:49 p.m. on Monday when they received an emergency 911 call about an industrial accident in Grand Tower. The incident took place near Brunkhorst Road and 20th Street in Grand Tower which is the construction site of the Kinder Morgan Natural Gas Pipeline, the sheriff’s office said in a release. Initially, reports came in as multiple people injured from the accident. After authorities got to the scene, they said two people died with two others taken to an area hospital for treatment. Barbara L. Reid, 47 of Mississippi, and Brandon C. Durand, 43 of Louisiana, were the individuals who died.

Employee Dies in Grain Auger Accident at Illinois Facility, OSHA Launches Investigation

MORRIS, IL – A Northfield employee has died after being ensnared in a grain auger at a facility located in the 3400 block of Bungalow Rd in Morris Monday. Emergency crews responded quickly, extricating the individual from the machinery and rushing them to Morris Hospital. A subsequent transfer to Loyola Medical Center in Maywood was made, but despite fervent medical intervention, the worker died due to injuries sustained in the accident. Oldcastle APG, which owns the company, issued a statement on the incident: “On Monday, October 16, a Northfield employee was involved in an accident at one of our facilities and later passed away while receiving medical care. We are deeply saddened by this loss, and are cooperating with authorities investigating the incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family, friends and team members.” The incident has caught the attention of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is now leading an investigation.

Construction worker killed while trying to help at accident scene in Chillicothe

Chillicothe, OH — A construction worker was struck and killed by a vehicle in Chillicothe on Monday morning while he was attempting to clear debris from the roadway after a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Route 29 and Hillcrest Drive. A group of construction workers in Chillicothe witnessed an accident around 6:43 a.m. Monday morning when a vehicle traveling southbound on Route 29 struck another vehicle in the intersection of Route 29 and Hillcrest Drive, according to Chillicothe police. It was after construction workers walked over to the crash scene to assist that one of the workers was struck and killed by another vehicle traveling south on Route 29 while he was removing debris from the crash site, police said. The construction worker has been identified as Christopher Neff.

Weekly Toll
Darren Baddley

Worker killed after being crushed by crane on highway in Farmington

FARMINGTON, Utah — A man was killed after he was crushed by a crane on Interstate 15 in Farmington Monday morning. The individual was 42-year-old Darren Baddley from Gunnison, Utah who was contracted through the Utah Department of Transportation to work as a team member on the West Davis Highway project.

Worker who died in fall from downtown Boston office tower identified

Boston, MA — A window washer died Monday morning after falling from an office tower in Boston’s Financial District, according to police. Officers responded to 100 Summer St. just before 8 a.m. for a report of a person who fell while cleaning the high-rise, a Boston police spokesperson said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office identified the man Monday evening as Nicholas Marks, 40, of East Weymouth. It was not immediately clear what caused the fall or how many stories Marks fell, according to the police spokesperson. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed it was notified and responded to the scene. The man said Marks was on a platform held by two ropes and while it’s common for one rope to fail, two usually do not, according to the Globe. He also said the 40-year-old was likely in a harness, the newspaper reported. According to the Globe, three ropes could be seen hanging from one side of the building late Monday morning, while a fourth rope that appeared to have snapped was visible about 16 stories up.

Grimmway Farms issues statement after worker struck, killed in fields

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Grimmway Farms issued a statement on a farmworker’s death in a carrot field one month after her death. Rosa Miriam Sanchez died after she was struck by a work vehicle in front of her coworkers and daughter at the Grimmway Farm in New Cuyama on Sept. 20. 17 News previously reported witnesses said the driver of the vehicle was driving fast. A witness told 17 News work in the field continued as usual after Sanchez’s death. Grimmway Farms officials said in the statement that it is important that incidents like these are investigated by authorities and they empathize with the workers’ traumas. Grimmway officials also said from its early findings into the incident they don’t believe anyone from Grimmway told workers to continue working after Sanchez died.

Construction worker dies after being struck by car in Mesa

MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Police confirm a construction worker has died after being struck by a car Tuesday afternoon. Investigators say around 12:30 p.m., a driver abruptly swerved into a construction area near Main Street and Greenfield Road while trying to avoid another car that was turning into a private driveway. The driver went into the middle lane and hit a construction worker who was placing cones and equipment on the side of the road. He was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and later died. Investigators say the driver remained at the scene and wasn’t impaired. The construction worker was wearing a traffic vest at the time of the collision.

Bartholomew County man killed in workplace accident in southern Indiana

BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. — A southern Indiana man was killed in a workplace accident on Wednesday, officials said. The Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 66-year-old Charles Carson, of Elizabethtown, Indiana. Officials said the incident happened around noon Wednesday at 14000 N CR 250 W in Edinburgh. According to the coroner, Carson was working on a piece of equipment on the shop floor when he was hit in the head by a piece of metal hanging from a crane.  Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting said that Carson was working to put a mold together at the industrial manufacturer when he was struck in the head by a large piece of metal. The mold was being suspended by a crane, and investigators believe some part of the assembly came loose resulting in a piece of the mold striking Carson in the head, Nolting said.

SEPTA official identifies bus driver killed in shooting; woman charged with murder

PHILADELPHIA, PA — The SEPTA bus driver who was shot and killed Thursday morning while operating a bus in Philadelphia’s Germantown section has been identified. An agency spokesperson identified the driver as 48-year-old Bernard Gribbin from Abington, Pennsylvania. He was a 12-year employee of the transit authority and a U.S. Army veteran. Zhontay Capers, 21, has been charged with murder, as well as other related offenses in Gribbin’s death, Philadelphia police said Friday.It happened just before 10:30 a.m. at Germantown and Abbottsford avenues as Gribbin was operating a Route 23 bus. Police said he was shot six times in the chest and right abdomen. Police said a woman caught on surveillance cameras was seen stepping off the bus and firing toward the driver.

Lewiston Maine Shooting Victims

Thomas Conrad

Lewiston ME — At least two of the victims of the mass shooting in Lewiston Maine last week were employees. Joe Walker was the bar manager at Schemengees Bar and Grille. His father, Auburn City Councilor Leroy Walker, told NBC News on Thursday that his son was shot twice in the stomach as he went after the shooter with a butcher knife. “He died as a hero,” he said. Thomas Ryan Conrad, 34, was a manager at the bowling alley. He is survived by his 9-year-old daughter, the family said.

Construction worker dies after falling from roof of Glencliff High School

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A construction worker died after an incident at Glencliff High School in South Nashville earlier this month. Investigators with the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) were called to the school along Antioch Pike on Oct. 12 to determine the circumstances that led to the worker’s death. Councilmember Sandra Sepulveda (District 30) identified the victim as Denis Geovani Ba Ché, who she said died after a fall from the school’s roof.

Idaho Trucker Killed

Lewiston, ID — Idaho State Police are investigating a single vehicle collision that occurred October 24th, 2023 at 3:32 PM at US95 southbound near mp 312 at Escape Ramp 5 near Lewiston in Nez Perce County. A 2014 Volvo semi tractor hauling a loaded flatbed trailer of lumber was driven by a 55-year-old male from Nampa, ID. The semi was traveling at high rate of speed, lost control, overturned and came to rest in Escape Ramp 5. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected. He succumbed to his injuries at the scene. The highway was blocked for approximately 12 hours for investigation and recovery of the vehicle and lumber. Next of Kin was notified by Canyon County Coroners Office. The investigation is still under investigation.

Pa. firefighter dies, girlfriend injured in crash while responding to blaze

West Whiteland, PA — One Pennsylvania firefighter was killed, and another was injured in a crash as they responded to an emergency call while in the line of duty. “It is with profound sadness that the West Whiteland Fire Company announces the Line of Duty Death of Firefighter Colin Reedy,” the West Whiteland Fire Company announced Saturday morning. The incident occurred around 9 p.m. Friday along North Pottstown Pike in Uwchlan Township in Chester County, where 25-year-old Reedy and 24-year-old Emily Gindel were responding to an emergency call in inclement weather when their vehicle exited the roadway and struck a tree. Reedy was pronounced dead at the scene.  Gindel, who was Reedy’s girlfriend, was transported to a local hospital in critical, but stable condition, Fox29 reported.

Iowa firefighter dies after crash while responding to field fire

IONIA, Iowa – The name of a northeast Iowa firefighter who died following a crash while on duty Sunday has been released. Forty-three-year-old Tony Hoffman, a volunteer firefighter with the Ionia Fire Department, was responding to a field fire north of Ionia when the accident happened. The Iowa State Patrol says Hoffman was driving a specially equipped firefighting UTV and ahead of a fire truck when both vehicles tried to pass a slow-moving tractor. The fire truck struck the rear of the UTV and the UTV rolled. Hoffman was thrown from the UTV. He was transported by air ambulance to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, where he later died from his injuries.

Man charged with fatally shooting car dealership employee in front of his parents in SE Houston

HOUSTON, TX – One of the two suspects accused of fatally shooting an employee at a car dealership in southeast Houston after an argument over pricing was charged with murder on Oct. 20, the Houston Police Department said. Malcolm Jakobe Lewis, 20, was charged for fatally shooting the 25-year-old victim on Oct. 16 at Star Motor Company in the 10600 block of Fuqua Street near Beamer Road.Lewis turned himself into police four days later and confessed to being involved in the incident. The victim has not been identified. On Oct. 16, officers were dispatched to the family-owned dealership regarding a shooting. When they arrived, authorities found a man shot to death outside of the establishment.

Bee attacks leave San Perlita employee dead, two others hospitalized

SAN PERLITA, Texas — One man is dead and another two are hospitalized after two separate bee attacks in San Perlita and Raymondville, officials said. At around 8:30 a.m. Saturday, San Perlita Mayor George Guadiana, along with two city employees were removing a tree near Palomar Street when a swarm of bees became agitated and attacked the men, Guadiana said. One of the employees, a 70-year-old man, was stung several times. Guadiana drove the man to Raymondville, where they met an ambulance that transported him to a hospital. According to the mayor, the man went into cardiac arrest and died at the hospital. The man was identified as Seferino Esparza, who had been employed with the city since 2018.

3 People Dead After Tanker Truck Causes Fiery Multi-Vehicle Crash on Pa. Highway

Montgomery County, PA — Three people have died after three vehicles, including a tanker truck carrying jet fuel, were involved in a fiery crash on a Pennsylvania highway. Police said the incident began late Saturday morning when a white Acura got a flat tire while traveling northbound on Interstate 476 on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Montgomery County, according to NBC affiliate WGAL and FOX affiliate WTXF-TV. A second vehicle, traveling behind the Acura, put on its hazard lights before coming to a stop in an attempt to help the disabled vehicle, WGAL and ABC affiliate WPVI-TV reported. The tanker truck was then unable to stop in time, and slammed into both vehicles, sparking a massive blaze that engulfed all three vehicles. The drivers of the truck and second vehicle — described by CBS affiliate KYW-TV as a work van — died at the scene, according to WTXF-TV. William Ramos, 63, was identified as the Perth Amboy man who died. James Achey, 57, and Suzette Achey, 52, both of Seaford, Delaware, died as well.

Employee killed at Wantagh Jeep service center ID’d as Daniel Cicio

Wantagh, NY — The name of the 32-year-old man killed last week in Wantagh when a co-worker backed a vehicle over him has been released by the Nassau police department. The victim is Daniel Cicio of Levittown. The incident happened about 10:10 a.m. Thursday at the Merrick Jeep Chrysler Dodge service center on Sunrise Highway., a police news release said. The 20-year-old driver had been backing up a 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee when he struck Cicio, police said. The victim was brought by ambulance to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Pennsylvania firefighter dies in crash while responding to fire

WEST WHITELAND TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A Pennsylvania firefighter died and another was injured after their vehicle struck a tree while they were responding to a fire on Friday night, authorities said. According to a Facebook post by the West Whiteland Fire Company, firefighter Colin Reedy died after the crash, which occurred during a heavy rainstorm. Reedy and fellow firefighter Emily Gindele were in the vehicle when it veered off the highway and struck the tree, KYW-TV reported. The two firefighters were unconscious inside the vehicle when first responders arrived, according to the newspaper. Reedy was pronounced dead at the scene, the fire department wrote on Facebook. Gindele was listed in critical but stable condition.

Former employee believed to be shooter in murder-suicide at Sarasota veterinary hospitaL

SARASOTA, Fla. – Two are dead after a shooting that is believed to be a murder-suicide inside a Sarasota veterinary hospital Wednesday evening, deputies said. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to KindVet of Sarasota Urgent Care at around 5:10 p.m. after a call came in about a possible shooter inside the building. Investigators said two people, including the suspect, were found inside the business with gunshot wounds. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene, and deputies said the victim was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital where they later died. The suspect who shot the victim is believed to be a former employee at KindVet of Sarasota Urgent Care, according to the sheriff’s office.

Lt. Milton Resendez

San Benito officer slain in overnight pursuit

SAN BENITO, Texas — A San Benito police officer was shot and killed overnight following an hours long vehicle pursuit, the Texas Municipal Police Association reported. A post by the Brownsville Police Department identified the officer as Lt. Milton Resendez. “He made the ultimate sacrifice while serving his community last night, and our entire law enforcement family grieves alongside you,” the post stated. At 10:58 p.m., San Benito police were informed of a pursuit involving DPS. When they entered city limits, officers assisted in the pursuit, San Benito Police Chief Mario Perea said at a news conference Wednesday. At the 1100 block of Sam Houston, Resendez’s vehicle and the suspect’s vehicle crossed paths. The suspects shot an “unknown amount of rounds,” two striking the unit, Perea said. One of the rounds struck the door and hit Resendez in the abdomen below his body armor. Resendez, who served as a police officer for more than 30 years, was pronounced dead after being transported to Valley Baptist Hospital.

Worker Dies In Area Industrial Accident

Morris, IL — One person is dead following a workplace incident that occurred Monday morning. Crews were called to Northfield in the 3400 block of Bungalow Rd in Morris for a report of an employee pinned in a piece of industrial equipment. The person was removed from the piece of machinery, transported to Morris Hospital, then transferred to Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, where they later died. “On Monday, October 16, a Northfield employee was involved in an accident at one of our facilities and later passed away while receiving medical care. We are deeply saddened by this loss, and are cooperating with authorities investigating the incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family, friends and team members.” An investigation remains underway by OSHA. The cause and manner for the death is still pending by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Metro Atlanta towing company owner hit, killed on I-575 while on the job

WOODSTOCK, Ga. — Another tow truck operator was hit and killed on the job Thursday in metro Atlanta. This marks the third operator to be killed on the job since March. Woodstock Police said just after 1 p.m. on Thursday, officers along with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office responded to the shoulder of I-575 between Sixes Road (exit 11) and Ridgeway Parkway (exit 9) for a pedestrian hit. On scene, authorities found the owner of Ingram Towing and Impounding, Frank Ingram, on the ground. Woodstock Police said he was hit and killed by a passing car. Ingram was operating a heavy-duty tow truck and was attempting to hook up a dump trump when he was hit. “Ingram’s death marks the 34th since January first for responders (hit and killed on roadways) nationwide. That is the 14th, tow truck operator to be hit and killed this year,” she added.

Employee dies after co-worker backs over him at Jeep service center in Wantagh

Wantagh, NY — A 32-year-old employee at a Jeep service center in Wantagh was killed Thursday morning when a co-worker backed a vehicle over him, according to the Nassau County Police Department. Further details were not disclosed, and neither man’s name was released. The incident happened about 10:10 a.m. at the Merrick Jeep Chrysler Dodge service center, 3588 Sunrise Hwy., a police news release said. The 20-year-old driver had been backing up a 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee when he struck the other employee, the release said. The victim was brought by ambulance to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. A police investigation into the crash remains unfinished, the release said. A message left with the service center’s voicemail wasn’t immediately returned Thursday afternoon.

Crossing guard killed by truck in Queens

QUEENS, NY – A 63-year-old crossing guard, Krystyna Naprawa was fatally struck by a dump truck Friday morning in Queens, the NYPD said. The incident happened just after 8 a.m. at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue. Driver charged in Jersey City crash that left 3 dead, others injured. Hector Yepes, the 39-year-old driver from New Jersey, stayed on scene according to police. He was arrested and charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to use due care. According to police, the woman, who’s been identified as an NYPD crossing guard, was found unconscious and unresponsive. EMS pronounced her dead at the scene.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Confined Space

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading