Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Worker killed in St. James Parish pipeline fire

March 10, New Orleans, Louisiana - A midmorning fire Tuesday at a Marathon Petroleum-owned oil storage facility in St. James Parish has left one man dead and injured six others. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire at the St. James Pipeline Station, a facility that stores and pumps crude oil to the Marathon oil refinery in Garyville, according to Marathon Petroleum Co. spokesman Robert Calmus. Rodney Mallett, spokesman for the Department of Environmental Quality, said there was no environmental impact to the area following the fire. The St. James Pipeline Station is in the community of St. James, which is part of St. James Parish. The fire erupted about 11:30 a.m. while contractors worked on an underground pipeline.

Worker dies on roof of Springs restaurant

March 10, Denver, Colorado - A 49-year-old Colorado Springs man who had gone to the roof of a restaurant to work on a compressor was found dead about five hours later. Colorado Springs police identified the man as Douglas J. Velliquette. Velliquette arrived at Borriello Brothers restaurant, 229 S. Eighth St., at about 11 a.m. Monday. At about 4 p.m., an employee of the restaurant saw Velliquette's ladder still leaning against the building. When he climbed the ladder, he spotted Velliquette and called emergency services. There was no sign of trauma, and there appears to be nothing criminal connected with Velliquette's death, police said.

Worker killed in Williams County factory

March 10, Williams County, Ohio - An industrial accident at a Williams County factory has claimed a life. Police say it happened just after midnight Tuesday at Kamco Industries. Neither the worker's name nor details of the accident have been released. The only detail we have at this point is that the person killed was female.

Construction Worker Killed On Job In Greene County

March 10, Morgantown, West Virginia - A construction worker died after an accident at a job site in Greene County. Investigators said Richard Reed Custer, 41, died on Monday morning while on the job at the Poland Mine site in Dunkard Township in Greene County.

Total Refinery Worker Killed in Crane Accident

March 8, Beaumont, Texas - KFDM News has learned a worker at the Total Petrochemical Plant in Jefferson County was killed Saturday in a construction accident at the plant. It happened around 4:15 on Saturday. Total officials say the man suffered a head injury, he was a contract employee. Emergency personnel from the refinery and the Port Arthur fire department responded to the scene. The man was air-lifted to St. Elizabeth hospital in Beaumont and died around 1:00 Sunday afternoon. Plant officials say an investigation into the accident is in progress and the appropriate authorities have been notified.

Philly police fatally shoot worker at gas works

March 7, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania —Police say they fatally shot a worker on the roof of the Philadelphia Gas Works building after he pointed a handgun at them. Investigators say officers shot 42-year-old Juan Delgado around 8 p.m. Friday. Another PGW employee says that shortly before the shooting he had gotten despondent text messages from Delgado saying that he was "going to end it." Delgado was a dispatch operator at PGW. A co-worker says Delgado had just learned that he had cancer.

UPDATE: Officials release identity of worker killed at Robins Air Force Base

March 7, Macon, Georgia - Officials have released the identity of a 47-year-old man who was killed Thursday afternoon in a construction accident at Robins Air Force Base. Base officials identified the victim as Jacky S. Brown, owner of Dublin Mechanical Contractors. The accident occurred at 3:20 p.m. at an Army Corps of Engineers construction site near Milledgeville Street and Richard Ray Boulevard on base. Robins spokesman John Birdsong said he expected to release additional details later today. Houston County coroner Danny Galpin said the body has been sent to the crime laboratory in Macon for an autopsy, which is planned for today. Galpin said Brown was in a trench working on a pipe when the pipe blew up.

NY truck driver killed in cab just off I-26 in SC

March 7, St. Matthews, South Carolina - Authorities say the driver of an 18-wheeler has been found shot to death inside his truck at an abandoned gas station just off Interstate 26 in South Carolina. Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers says officers found 35-year-old Jason Rivenburg of Fultonham, N.Y., after someone called 911 early Saturday morning and reported the tractor trailer just off exit 136 on I-26. Summers told WLTX-TV that investigators think Rivenburg stopped to rest when someone robbed him. The sheriff says Rivenburg's wallet is missing.

Big rig driver killed in LA crash

March 7, Los Angeles, California — The driver of a big rig was killed Saturday morning when his truck crashed through a guardrail and plunged 40 feet from a downtown elevated freeway, authorities said. California Highway Patrol officials later identified him as Jesus Reyes Jr., 39, of La Puente. The Ralphs supermarket truck was on an elevated ramp from Interstate 10 to Interstate 110 near the Los Angeles Convention Center when it overturned, plunged through the guardrail and landed upside down in a parking lot at about 12:25 a.m., according to CHP and fire officials.

Lignite mine worker dies in dragline accident

March 7, Mansfield, Louisiana — An employee of the Dolet Hills lignite mine was killed Friday morning when he became entangled in the tracks of the massive dragline used in the surface mining operation. The victim, identified as Stanley Nolen Freeman, 44, of Robeline, was killed instantly. Freeman was working with the team that was moving one of the draglines. The accident was reported around 8:30 a.m.

Fort Worth man falls, dies while trimming tree 10:49 AM CT

March 6, Fort Worth, Texas - A Fort Worth man fell and died after trying to cut a tree branch near his home Thursday evening. Joel Barajas, 46, fell from a tree about 7 p.m. and died in the 600 block of Grace Avenue, Fort Worth police said. The Tarrant County medical examiner's office did not list a cause of death this morning. Fort Worth police Sgt. Pedro Criado said reports of people falling from trees and dying are rare.

Cooper employee found dead inside plant

March 6, Albany, Georgia — Around 7 a.m. Thursday, a male Cooper Tire employee in his mid 40s was found dead by co-workers inside a bathroom at the tire plant, according to Dougherty County Chief of Police Don Cheek. The man’s information will not be released at this time in order for the next-of-kin to be notified of his death. “According to reports they (the employees) had just finished their shift when the victim told the guy he rode to work with that he would be in the bathroom for a minute and that he should wait for him outside,” said Cheek. “Apparently, the guy waited in the parking lot until some of their co-workers ran out and told him that the man had died in the bathroom.” Cheek said that there were reports that the man had told co-workers that he was not feeling well shortly before he died.

Oklahoma City firefighter death investigated

March 5, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — The first Oklahoma City firefighter to die in the line of duty in nearly 20 years was putting some gear back on a vehicle and getting ready to go back to the station when he collapsed. Deputy Fire Chief Cecil Clay said Thursday that Fire Cpl. Christopher Allen Dill, 43, had finished working on an apartment fire Wednesday afternoon when he complained of back pain and vision problems. "He had a mini seizure and went into full arrest," Clay said. "Three paramedics were working on him and transported him to the hospital. He was never able to be resuscitated."

Contractor Dies in Industrial Accident at Robins

March 4, Macon, Georgia - A construction contractor was killed at approximately 3:20 p.m. Thursday in an accident on base. According to a media release, the accident occurred at a construction site near Milledgeville Street and Richard Ray Boulevard here. Emergency crews responded to the scene. An investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the accident. The identification of the victim is being withheld for 24 hours following notification of the next of kin.

Man dies in forklift accident

March 4, Anchorage, Alaska - State investigators are looking into a forklift accident that killed an employee at Chevrolet of South Anchorage Wednesday. It appears 49-year-old Timothy Ashcraft may have been taking a load to a trash container when the accident happened, investigators said. They're now looking at how Ashcraft, who worked in the parts department, became caught between the lift's mast and its roll cage.

Safety probe dismissed in deputy death County will not have to pay $4500 fine

March 5, Bloomington, Indiana - The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration has dismissed its case against Monroe County in the death of a deputy struck by a car while directing traffic. Indiana Department of Labor deputy commissioner Sean Keefer says the county will not have to pay a $4,500 fine because sheriff's deputies will be required to wear reflective vests during specific situations. Twenty-seven-year-old Deputy Sarah Jones was not wearing a reflective vest when struck by a sport-utility vehicle on Oct. 17 while directing nighttime traffic around an accident on Indiana 45 west of Bloomington. She died two days later.

Police investigating death of farmer

March 5, Dekalb, Illinois - The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office and the DeKalb County Coroner's Office are investigating the death of a Leland man who was found Tuesday morning laying beside a piece of farm machinery in rural DeKalb County. Kenneth C. Chiavario, 60, was checking his semitrailer while it was being loaded with soybeans at a grain bin in the 9200 block of Wesson Road, which is between Leland and Kane roads in southern DeKalb County, according to a news release from the sheriff's office. Lt. Van Bomar of the sheriff's office said it appears that Chiavario was doing an inspection on the vehicle and had climbed a ladder attached to the equipment. Chiavario may have slipped or fallen from the ladder, Bomar said.

Squaw Valley worker killed in avalanche

March 4, San Francisco, California - A Squaw Valley USA ski patrolman died in an avalanche Tuesday morning as he worked to check the slopes of the resort for hazards before it opened for the day's skiers. Andrew Entin, 41, was working on avalanche control around 8 a.m. when part of the slope broke away, catching him in the slide and partially burying him under the snow. A fellow ski patrolmen dug Entin out as emergency crews responded to the resort. Entin was taken first to a hospital in Truckee and then transported to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, where he was pronounced dead.

Raleigh Co. Man Killed on the Job

John Hensley of Fairdale was killed, Tuesday.

March 3, Arnett, West Virginia - A Raleigh County man was killed on the job near Arnett. Raleigh County Deputies say 44-year-old John Hensley of Fairdale died when he was pinned between his truck and a gate. Investigators say Hensley was refilling a gas pump line when he stopped his truck on a slight incline. The truck popped out of gear and rolled into the man. It happened on Pine Branch Road around 11:30 Tuesday morning.

Worker Killed in Ship

March 3, Houston, Texas - A worker dies late Tuesday morning after he is struck by a piece of equipment in a terminal near the Houston Ship Channel, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Department. Investigators tell FOX 26 News that a winch struck and killed the worker. The Harris County Sheriff's Office was contacted at approximately 10:45 a.m. from the I.P.C. terminal at the 2600 block of Tidal Road in east Harris County. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will also conduct an investigation into the worker's death.

Driver dies, semi crashes into mobile home park

March 3, Billings, Montana - The driver of a semi tractor-trailer has died after the truck went off Interstate 90, through the barrow pit and struck a chain link fence surrounding a mobile home park. Billings Police Sgt. Mitch Brush says the man was impaled by a fence post inside the cab, which also hit a trailer house. The victim's name has not been released. The occupant of the trailer was shaken up, but was not injured.

Driver Hauling Tanker Dies In Roll-Over

February 28, Batavia, Ontario - The 77-year-old driver of a tractor trailer hauling a tanker died this morning after his vehicle rolled over alongside the Thruway in Batavia. Omer Beselaere of Strathroy, Ontario was extricated from the cab of the truck, but was pronounced dead at the scene. State Police says he was driving eastbound on the Thruway, drifted off the right shoulder, then continued through the grass for about a thousand feet. The vehicle then appeared to start making its way back up onto the road, but the vehicle likely rolled over due to the angle of the incline.

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