Weekly toll

Many families are not having a happy holiday. How Workers Died Last Week: Killed by falling block, crushed in machinery, falls, forklift incidents, shot, stabbed. 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.

Dump truck driver killed in Licking County crash

MARY ANN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WCMH) — A truck driver is dead after a two-vehicle crash in Mary Ann Township, Licking County, Wednesday afternoon. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP), the crash happened at approximately 2:15 p.m. on State Route 79 just north of Newark. A 1999 Kenworth truck hauling a dump trailer was driving south on SR-79 while a 1995 Chevrolet G20 van was driving north. According to OSHP, the truck crossed the center line while making a turn, hitting the van head-on. The truck then overturned and hit the guardrail. The driver of the truck, Jerry L. Hull, 75, of Utica, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the van, a 38-year-old Warsaw man, was taken to Genesis Hospital with serious injuries.

Man killed in industrial accident at De Pere metal manufacturing company

DE PERE, WI – OSHA is investigating the death of a worker who was fatally injured at Robinson Inc. in De Pere. An obituary says Russell Norman, 51, died Dec. 8 “as a result of injuries sustained in an industrial accident.” OSHA tells FOX 11 the incident happened Nov. 30 at Robinson Inc., a metal fabrication company located at 1740 Eisenhower Road. “The OSHA area office confirmed the individual in the obit, is the employee injured on Nov. 30,” said Rhonda Burke, deputy director of public affairs for the Dept. of Labor. No other details of the incident were released. Norman’s obituary states he worked at Robinson Inc. for 34 years.

One Dead in an Industrial Accident in Dewey

Dewey, OK — A man died in Dewey early on Thursday morning during an industrial accident at Bison Materials. The incident happened after 7 a.m where a man was trapped and then died. The man was in his 30s. Emergency personnel from Bartlesville and Dewey fire responded to the scene. Washington County Sheriff Scott Owen talks about the accident. The man’s name has not been released.

Indy man hit, killed by concrete block in ‘workplace accident’

WHITESTOWN, Ind. — An Indianapolis man was struck and killed Monday in Whitestown by a concrete block that fell during what police called a “workplace accident.” According to Capt. John Jurkash with the Whitestown Police Department, first responders were called around noon Monday to a Waste Management facility located at 6251 S. Indianapolis Road in response to a traumatic injury. Upon arrival, WPD and local fire crews found the scene of a “workplace accident” where a “several thousand-pound concrete block” fell on top of a worker. The worker, identified by police as 44-year-old Anthony Osby of Indianapolis, was later pronounced dead “due to traumatic injury” by EMS crews.

Man killed in Wolfforth construction accident, OSHA investigating

WOLFFORTH, Texas — A 65-year-old man was killed after a construction accident in the 8100 block of Patel Drive on Monday, according to the Wolfforth Police Department. WPD said a man was pinned between a front loader and a shipping container. According to police, the man was taken to a Lubbock hospital, where he passed away. No other injuries were reported. Police said the cause of the incident was still being determined. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating, according to police.

Preble County deputy killed in crash identified; 2nd driver also dies

PREBLE COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) — A Preble County sheriff’s deputy and another driver were killed in a 2-vehicle crash Monday morning in West Alexandria. According to the Preble County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Joshua Hamilton, 34, was taken to the Kettering Preble ER in Eaton but succumbed to his wounds. Michael Gayhart II, the driver of the other vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Hamilton’s 2018 Ford Explorer was heading south on State Routh 503 around 4 a.m. Monday when it collided with Gayhart’s northbound vehicle head-on.

Southern California repo man killed on the job, suspect at large

Blaine LaPrairie

Los Angeles, CA — Loved ones are devastated and searching for answers after a man was shot and killed Tuesday while on the job. The victim, Blaine LaPrairie, 46, worked as a repo man and was repossessing a vehicle when a suspect opened fire and shot him. Loved ones describe Blaine as a big-hearted, kind and thoughtful man. “He was a very sweet soul and he would do anything for you,” said Ryan LaPrairie, Blaine’s older brother. Blaine was repossessing a car at the Jasmine Garden Apartment complex in Compton when he was murdered. Blaine drove tow trucks for Nation’s Recovery Services, Inc., a business in South El Monte.

Hundreds pay respects to tow truck driver killed during repossession

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The local towing industry in Madison County remembered one of its own on Thursday night. His impact isn’t lost on the lives he touched. A call to repossess a vehicle ended with the tow truck driver, 38-year-old Jason Click, shot and killed.  His friends and former employees gathered to pay their respects. Watson is one of over 100 tow truck drivers to speak fondly of Click. According to the Madison County Sheriff’s office, Click was on Wedgewood Terrace Road in Harvest on Wednesday night when he was met by gunfire. A fellow tow truck driver told News 19 that Click was on a repossession call at the time.

Gravel truck driver killed

Placerville, CA — A crash claimed the life of a gravel truck driver on Highway 49 at the American River Confluence early Thursday morning, according to reports from the California Highway Patrol. A tractor-trailer hauling approximately 2,000 pounds of gravel reportedly struck the hillside along the intersection of the highway and Old Foresthill Road at around 7:17 a.m. The truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene by CHP officers shortly after their arrival. The cause of the collision is under investigation and information about the driver was unavailable as of press time, according to an Auburn CHP representative.

Victim identified, suspected driver located after DC beltway hit-and-run crash kills tree trimmer

SILVER SPRING, Md. – Authorities have located the suspected driver they say fled the scene after a tree trimmer was struck and killed by a vehicle along the shoulder of the D.C. beltway. Police say the crash happened around 10:15 a.m. Wednesday as a mobile tree trimming operation contracted by the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration was setting up to begin work on the right shoulder of eastbound Interstate 495 near Linden Lane in Silver Spring. Officials said a white 2021 Freightliner truck being driven by Jadien Ranard Jones, 39, of Henrico, Virginia, veered onto the shoulder, struck multiple traffic cones, and the crew’s foreman. Police said Jones did not remain at the scene. The foreman, identified as Eric Lewis, 57, of Washington, D.C. was pronounced dead at the scene.

2 dead, 1 hospitalized in Northern Kentucky industrial accident

Josh Mason

BROMLEY, Ky. (WKRC) – Two people have died and one was hospitalized after a reported industrial accident in Bromley, per Chief Cody Stanley of the Park Hills Police Department. The hospitalized worker was conscious when they were transported. One victim’s body was already rescued and then at approximately 12 a.m., the body of the second victim was recovered. The two victims have been identified as 23-year-old Mason Neises of Alexandria, Ky. and 26-year-old Josh Mason of Moscow, Ohio. Emergency crews were called to a pump station for the sanitation district of Bromley for a reported drowning at about noon Thursday. The pump station is right down on the river, just west of the Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club. It’s the sanitation district’s largest pump station, sending 40 million gallons of sewage per day to the Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant from Northern Kentucky’s river cities. The hole where this occurred is believed to be about 40 feet deep.

Worker dies after being injured by forklift in Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A worker died Thursday after being injured by a forklift at a Salt Lake City construction company. Cpt. Shaun Mumedy with Salt Lake City Fire Department said crews responded to Staker Parson Materials and Construction at 1730 N Beck Street around 2:33 p.m. on a report of an injured worker. City police said in a statement that a preliminary investigation showed a forklift tipped over with its arms extended, hitting a parked van. First responders found the injured man next to the van. It’s yet unclear what caused the forklift to tip over. Police are continuing to investigate and interview witnesses, a news release said. The worker’s name has not been released, but police identified him as a 56-year-old man.

Employee killed at Akron drive thru in late-night shooting

AKRON, Ohio — A 21-year-old man has died after a late-night shooting at the Borders Drive Thru in the 1300 block of South Arlington Street in Akron. When first responders arrived at the scene around 11:15 p.m., Akron police say the employee was found critically injured with an apparent gunshot wound to the neck. “Within minutes of arriving, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene,” police say. The victim has been identified as Ahmad Alibrahim of Akron, according to the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office. Akron police say preliminary information shows that an unknown male suspect approached the drive thru on foot and attempted to purchase a black and mild cigar. “The suspect reportedly handed the employee a bill in poor and unacceptable condition,” according to Akron police. “The suspect then began arguing with the clerk, produced the firearm and demanded the cigar. The employee then gave the suspect the item and asked him to leave. Before doing so, the suspect fired at least two shots at the group of employees inside the establishment, striking the victim.”

N.C. Detention Officer Dies from Medical Emergency after Clash with Inmate

Pamlico County, NC — Sgt. Russell Earl Lavarl Jones, a detention officer with the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office was working at Pamlico Correctional Institution in Bayboro on Dec. 6 when the medical event occurred, WCTI-TV reports. He was punched in the face while trying to subdue a disruptive inmate and collapsed from a fatal heart attack minutes later, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. “Sergeant Jones demonstrated unwavering commitment to serving his community and fellow officers. He will never be forgotten,” a release from the sheriff’s office stated. Jones, 36, worked as a detention officer with the sheriff’s office since June 2019.

Truck driver killed in Cass County rollover crash

Adair, IA — One person was killed in a single-vehicle rollover crash in Cass County over the weekend. The Iowa State Patrol says the accident occurred on Interstate 80 near mile marker 72 shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday. Authorities say a 2022 Volvo semi truck, driven by 29-year-old Malak Singh of New York, was westbound on I-80, when for unkown reasons, the driver lost control of the vehicle. The patrol says the truck then rolled onto its side and into the north ditch. Singh died as a result of his injuries sustained in the crash. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office assisted the patrol at the scene.

Sean Terwilliger Killed In Tractor-Trailer Crash On I-476

Allentown, PA — Sean Terwilliger of Allentown was riding south in a utility truck when he and the driver pulled over to secure the load near mile marker 36.4, state police said. They parked on the west shoulder and Terwilliger was standing off the roadway at the rear of the truck, according to investigators. A passing southbound tractor-trailer drifted into the shoulder, striking Terwilliger and the utility truck, officials said. Terwilliger was fatally injured and the tractor-trailer driver pulled over at the scene, troopers added.

Richmond Dollar Store employee killed in armed robbery

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — An investigation is underway after a reported robbery and homicide occurred at a Dollar General in the city’s Southside Wednesday afternoon. According to the Richmond Police Department, at approximately 4:50 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13, officers were called to Dollar General, located at 3301 Richmond Highway, for a report of a robbery and a person shot. Upon arrival, officers found an adult male, who was an employee of the store, with an apparent gunshot wound. The man was transported to a local hospital, where he later died of his injury.

Somervell County deputy killed in on-duty crash, officials say

Somervell, TX — A Somervell deputy was killed in a head-on collision Wednesday morning while on duty, according to officials. Stephen Gibson, who worked for the Somervell County Sheriff’s Office for more than two decades, was traveling north on Texas State Highway 144 in an investigator’s truck when a Ford F-150 traveling south lost control and struck Gibson’s vehicle, the Texas Department of Transportation said in a news release. State troopers responded to the scene, about 4 miles south of Glen Rose, about 6:45 a.m. Gibson, 53, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Roofing Company Worker Dies After Fall from Building in Lompoc

Lompoc, CA — An industrial accident led to the death of a roofing company worker in Lompoc on Tuesday, according to the Lompoc Police Department. At 10:43 a.m., Lompoc firefighters and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the 400 block of North N Street for a report that someone had fallen from a roof. “Upon arrival, the emergency responders were greeted by employees of an out-of-county roofing company, who reported that one of their colleagues had accidentally fallen through the roof into the building below,” said Sgt. Scott Morgan of the Lompoc Police Department. “Firefighters promptly entered the building to locate the victim. Regrettably, the individual had sustained critical injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

Rideshare drivers protest outside Chicago Uber hub after driver killed

CHICAGO, IL– A group of rideshare drivers protested outside Uber’s hub in West Town, demanding more safety guarantees after a rideshare and limo driver was killed on the job. Mohammed Al Hejoj was shot and killed on Dec. 3 inside his vehicle while he was driving for Uber in North Austin. His alleged shooter was his passenger, his family said. “It’s a really difficult situation. It’s hard for everyone to accept what happened,” said his brother Sadam Al Hejoj. “How can we feel safety? Someone was doing his job, and he gets killed. Just killed for no reason,” said his sister Kawkab Al Hejoj. The group is also calling for the city council to pass the Chicago Rideshare Living Wage and Safety Ordinance, which they say will help ensure the safety of drivers and fairness on the job.

Police ID Tire Shop Worker Killed In Stabbing In Longview

Longview, WA — Police are releasing the identity of a tire shop worker who was stabbed to death in the store’s parking lot in Longview. The Longview Police Department says 48-year-old Brian Whatley was killed Friday behind the Superior Tire shop. Police say Whatley was in the parking lot waiting to start his shift when a suspect identified as Gilbert Platt allegedly stabbed him. Police arrested Platt at his home Friday afternoon on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery.


2 thoughts on “Weekly Toll: Empty Seats for the Holidays”
  1. I am a safety professional pursuing a BS in occupational safety from CSU. I was doing research for one of my classes on OSHA Legal Aspects of Safety and Health, and I came across an article that mentioned you and the “Confine Space blog.” One thing led to another, and now I am reading up-to-date information. The information I am reading is what I have been looking for. I have many incidents that are happening at work day-to-day, and for some reason or another, my teammates don’t believe it could happen to them, and management only cares about the bottom line and the next sale. I plan to use your stats and news that don’t make the front page to educate my team. Sadly some will not be able to celebrate Christmas at home or ever. Today I had an employee crush his index finger while loading a frame into a conveyor using a jib-crane. Sadly, he will be off work until he recovers. Great work.
    John H. (hernandezjm629@msn.com)

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