Weekly Toll

Last week workers were killed in a trench collapse, electrocution, vehicle accidents, falls, shootings, forklift incident and on a farm. 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 dies after trench collapses in Noblesville

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — A construction worker is dead after emergency crews rushed to a recently opened Crew Carwash in Noblesville on Monday morning on reports of a worker trapped due to a trench collapsing. Rescue crews descended quickly upon the carwash located at 146th Street and River Road where authorities said a 21-year-old construction worker was working in an 8-foot-deep trench installing a water pipe when the sides of the trench collapsed. The worker was trapped for around two hours before rescue crews were finally able to remove him from the trench. Unfortunately, the worker was pronounced dead. Hamilton County Coroner Jeff Jellison identified the deceased as Shawn Young, 21, of Elwood. Officials said the trench was 4 feet wide in addition to being 8 feet deep. Shoring reportedly was in place as rescue crews attempted to reach the trapped worker.

Tragic Electrocution at Windmill Farm Claims Life, Willacy County Investigates

Willacy County, TX — A routine day at a windmill farm located at the intersection of FM 1018 and FM 507 turned tragic when a man was fatally electrocuted in what has been described as a workplace incident by the Willacy County Sheriff’s Office. The incident has left the local community in shock and raised concerns over workplace safety in such environments. Early this morning, Willacy County EMS and Bonneville fire crews were dispatched to the scene following reports of an electrocution accident. Emergency responders managed to rescue the man from a perilous situation, but despite their efforts and immediate transport to a local hospital, he later succumbed to his injuries. A second man, also involved in the incident, was rescued without sustaining any injuries.

City contractor found dead at San Jose Animal Care Center

SAN JOSE, CA — A city contractor was found dead Friday morning at the San Jose Animal Care Center, officials said. It was not immediately clear how the person died. No pets were involved in the incident, the City of San Jose Animal Care & Services said in a social media post. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the city contractor who passed away,” the agency said. “The City of San Jose team is devastated by this news and is focusing on supporting staff who worked with their colleague.” An investigation is underway, the agency said, adding that it is working closely with the San Jose police and fire departments, as well as the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Contractor dead after chemical release at Effingham Co. facility

EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) – One person is dead following a chemical release at the Americold facility in Effingham County. The facility is located off of Old River Road. Effingham County Fire Rescue says the chemical release happened sometime between Thursday evening or Friday morning. They arrived on scene at 8:21 a.m. Friday morning. They were called to the facility for an injured/unresponsive employee. Effingham Fire says a contractor who handles some of the chemicals died. After securing the building, they found the employee, a technician from Ecolab, deceased. The facility has since been cleared and released to Americold. The deceased employee been taken to the GBI office for autopsy. Effingham County Fire Rescue says it is not known if his death was related to the chemical or if he suffered a medical emergency prior to the release. They say the chemical encountered on site is a pesticide used to treat fruits and vegetables. On Monday, officials identified the deceased as Lawrence Wyatt, of Charleston, South Carolina. He was 54.

N.J. truck driver killed in crash on Garden State Parkway

Galloway, New Jersey — A 60-year-old truck driver was killed in a crash on the Garden State Parkway in South Jersey Thursday afternoon, authorities said. Brian Ross was driving a tractor-trailer north at 12:05 p.m. near milepost 43.3 in Galloway when the truck veered off the toll road to the right and struck multiple trees, State Police said. Ross, a Brick Township resident, was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash remains under investigation.

Zoo employee dies after fall in giraffe enclosure in west Michigan

Cedar Springs, MI — A zoo employee died over the weekend after he fell from a ladder in a giraffe enclosure at a west Michigan park in April, the park announced Thursday. The Deer Tracks Junction Adventure Park, a family-owned and operated agri-tourism business, said on its Facebook page the employee, identified as Tyler, died Saturday after he fell from a 6-foot ladder while working in a giraffe enclosure at the park. The park is at 7850 14 Mile Road NE in Cedar Springs, about 22 miles northeast of Grand Rapids. He was identified as Tyler Powell, 27, in a Wood-TV 8 report.

Man dies while operating equipment at Mississippi sawmill

Bruce, MS — A Mississippi man is reported to have passed away at a job site in Bruce. Calhoun County Sheriff Greg Pollan confirms that Dennis Bennett died while operating a large piece of equipment at the Weyerhaeuser sawmill on Highway 9 in Bruce. The sheriff got a call regarding the incident Thursday afternoon. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bruce Police Department are collaborating to assess Bennett’s cause of death.

Worker killed at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter

WINSTON-SALEM, NC — Officials say a construction worker died while working on a project in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. The Winston-Salem Journal reports police say 65-year-old Dennis Michael Laney died Tuesday. Police say his death has been classified as an accidental workplace death. Spokesman for Innovation Quarter James Patterson says Laney, who worked for the construction company Whiting-Turner, died in an accident involving a cherry picker. President of Innovation Quarter Eric Tomlinson says the site was secured, work was halted and workers left for the day. Police say the North Carolina Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Division is investigating Laney’s death.

Worker dies after being electrocuted at West Philly construction site

Philadelphia, PA — A man died after police said he was electrocuted at a construction site in West Philadelphia. A man was killed Wednesday after being electrocuted and falling off of a ladder at a construction site in West Philadelphia, officials said. According to police, the incident happened just after noon on Wednesday, when a 49-year-old man was electrocuted before he fell of a ladder while working at a construction site located along the 6500 block of Lansdowne Avenue. The man — who police have not yet provided further identifying information on — was taken to a nearby hospital where, law enforcement officials said, he was pronounced just before 1 p.m.

Second freeway worker dies from injuries after accident on 71 Freeway in Chino

Chino, CA — Two workers cleaning up litter along a Chino roadside are dead after a box truck driver struck them early Monday morning. One worker was killed at the accident scene on the side of the 71 freeway, and another who was hit was taken to the hospital for injuries. Later in the day Monday, it was reported that second worker died. The crash happened around 8:30 a.m. on the northbound 71 Freeway near Euclid Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol. Investigators said a box truck in the middle lane of the freeway crossed over into the slow lane and side-swiped the cleaner crew’s van as it was parked on the side of the road before crashing over embankment. There was a driver inside the van, and two of the crewmembers cleaning the roadside were struck by the box truck. Caltrans contracted the crew to do the cleanup. One worker, a 54-year-old man, died at the scene. The other, a 36-year-old man, was initially taken to the hospital with major injuries and died later. Both men are from San Bernardino. The driver of the work crew van suffered minor injuries.

Farm worker, 28, dies after being pinned by machinery in Parkers Prairie

Parkers Prairie, MN — A farm worker was killed when a piece of heavy machinery fell on him, pinning him to the ground. The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office says the incident happened around 1:30 p.m. at a farm in Parkers Prairie, where the 28-year-old victim had been working with others to replace a piece of tillage equipment. A part of the machinery then fell on top of him and pinned him underneath. Despite lifesaving efforts, the man died at the scene. The victim has not yet been identified, pending identification of next of kin.

Worker Killed in Forklift Accident

LOS ANGELES, CA (May 7, 2024) – Tony Gallegos was killed Monday afternoon in a work-related forklift accident at the 900 block of North Moraga Drive. The incident occurred at approximately 1:30 p.m., near Bellagio Road in the neighborhood of Bel Air. Upon reaching the scene, officers were informed that a man was pinned beneath a steel rebar carried by a forklift, with the cause unknown. Due to the extent of injuries sustained, the male worker lost his life at the site. The Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner confirmed the identity of the deceased as Tony Gallegos, aged 42. Emergency crews temporarily closed off the vicinity to facilitate clearing operations. At this time, an active investigation to determine further information is still currently underway.

Thruway worker killed, injured in crash identified

Chili, NY — New York State Police identified the Thruway Authority worker killed when he was struck by a tractor-trailer while inside a work zone Thursday afternoon. Vincent J. Giammarva, 62, of Le Roy, Genesee County, was killed and his coworker Mark Vara, 58, of Scottsville was seriously injured when an eastbound tractor-trailer driven by a 64-year-old man from Oswego County struck the two men as they were working just before 12:30 p.m. Thursday, said Trooper Lynnea Crane. The one-vehicle crash occurred at mile marker 368 in Chili, between exit 47 (Le Roy) and Exit 46 (Henrietta), according to State Police. Giammarva was pronounced dead at the scene and Vara was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition on Friday afternoon, Crane said.

Autopsy Ordered After Worker Found Dead Outside Payne Arena

Hidalgo, TX — Hidalgo police are investigating after a man was found dead outside Payne Arena Saturday morning. Police aren’t yet releasing his name but say he worked for a concert production company. Investigators say the man was working Friday night to set up an event and there are indications he may have collapsed from heat stroke. Authorities are awaiting the results of an autopsy.

Truck driver hit, killed by car Sunday on LBJ Freeway

DALLAS, TX — A truck driver was killed early Sunday morning on LBJ Freeway after being hit by a car, police say. At about 2:45 a.m., police say they were called to the accident at eastbound LBJ Freeway and Miller Road. The driver of the tractor trailer was reportedly driving east on 635 and hit a retaining wall. After getting out of the truck, he was hit by a car. The driver of the car that hit the victim remained at the scene, police say. The victim was taken to a hospital by Dallas Fire Rescue, but died before arriving. The victim has not been identified as of Sunday evening, pending next of kin notification.

Manhunt over for suspect who killed Euclid officer in ambush

EUCLID, Ohio (WJW) — The Euclid police officer killed in the line of duty Saturday night has been identified as 23-year-old Jacob Derbin, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner. Euclid Police Chief Scott Meyer told the I-TEAM that Officer Derbin was an “incredible” person and Meyer and the entire department are “devastated.” The officer was a military veteran and was on the force for less than two years. According to Euclid police, officers were dispatched to a home in the 300 block of East 211th Street for a disturbance around 9:56 p.m. Saturday. While police were investigating, a gunman ambushed Derbin, striking him with gunfire, according to police. Derbin was taken to an area hospital but did not survive.

State Police investigate fatal Orange County industrial accident

MAYBROOK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State Police are investigating a fatal industrial accident in Maybrook. Police say Stanley Weglarz (61, Tennessee) died at the scene. On May 9, around 9:15 a.m., State Police responded to 1000 Homestead Avenue in Maybrook for reports of a fatal industrial accident. Police say Weglarz was stuck by a Freightliner cab while trying to hook up to an empty trailer and was pronounced dead. State Police were assisted by the Town of Montgomery Police Department and the Village of Maybrook Police Department. The incident is still under investigation.

Dump truck driver charged, gasoline truck driver killed in head-on crash in Wake County

Wake County, NC — One driver was killed and the other ended up in the hospital facing criminal charges when a dump truck and gasoline truck crashed head-on near a bridge in rural Wake County Tuesday morning. The crash occurred around 9:15 a.m. when the trucks crashed at Mial Plantation Road and Old Baucom Road, near the border of Wake and Johnston counties. The intersection remained closed into the afternoon. The State Highway Patrol said Victor Eldred Adrian Sumner, 41, of Garner, crossed the center line in his dump truck and collided with a gas fuel tanker driven by Scott Thomas Painter, 55, of Wendell. Painter was pronounced dead at the scene.

Man Killed in Concrete Truck Accident on Holmes Road in Houston, TX

Houston, TX — May 4, 2024, a man was killed as the result of a concrete truck accident at around 4:20 a.m. along Holmes Road. Authorities said that the incident happened in the 2800 block of Holmes Road, just off the South Freeway. According to the Houston Police, the incident happened as a man was on the back of a concrete truck. Details suggest he had backed up the truck to a pumper truck, got out, and got onto the back bumper. For reasons unclear, authorities say the concrete truck backed up, crushing the man between the two trucks. As a result, he suffered fatal injuries. No other injuries were reported.

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