Monday, August 13, 2012

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Here's a good news story to start off our post:

Worker Who Fell 19 Feet Back on the Job

August 8, 2012, Madison, NJ - 23 year old Thomas Block of Wantage is back to work after he was injured on May 17th when he fell 19 feet while erecting a steel frame for a business building. Block's mother said her son's recovery is quite amazing.  Block was an employee for the family business, Vandermeyde Welding and Iron Works, Inc. who received a citation from OSHA resulting from Block's fall.

Construction Worker Struck by Truck

July 2, Hannibal, MO - 31 year old Larry Dye, a construction worker for Chester Bross Construction which had been hired as a contractor by MoDOT, was killed when a fully loaded asphalt truck backed over him as he was picking up a construction highway sign. He died at the scene.

Bridge Worker Dies After Being Struck

July 3, Hampton, NH - James Hayes of Seabrook, a bridge attendant, was struck by a vehicle at the end of his shift on the Neil Underwood Bridge. He was air lifted to an area hospital when he died.

Brake Failure on Utility Truck Causes Crash

July 3, Milton, FL - 57 year old Jacqueline Green, a Gulf Power employee, was assisting in a clean up effort after a storm when her work bucket truck lost its brakes. While driving she had to swerve around other trucks but when she got to an intersection she stuck a semi and then into another truck. Green died at the scene, her passenger was hospitalized.  

Death at Fish Processing Plant

July 4, Akutan, AK - 55 year old Edgardo P. Sanchez of California died while working for Trident Seafood processing plant.  Reports states he became short of breath and ill as he was starting his shift.  It is unclear the reason for his death. 

Farm Worker Run Over by Tractor

July 4, Wapato, WA 44 year old Francisco Espinoza died when he was run over by a running farm tractor while he was working on an attached trailer. Espinoza died at the scene.

Deadly Timber Incident

July 5, Jackman, ME - 46 year old Bruno Cloutier of Quebec Canada died when he was pinned between a timber harvester and a service truck as the harvester was being moved. Cloutier was a heavy equipment mechanic. 

Bridge Construction Worker Killed

July 5, Oshkosh, WI - 35 year old Joseph R. Bidler of Green Bay died and a co-worker was injured while working on the Butte des Morts bridge in Oshkosh when a crane collapsed. Bidler, who was the driver of the semi truck that delivered the massive concrete girder was crushed under the boom which fell as the crane collapsed. Bidler was an employee for Spancrete.

Another Farm Worker Tragedy

July 7, Wapato, WA - 23 year old Francisco Javier Mendez of Toppenish was killed when a forklift rolled and he was pinned underneath it. Mendez was an employee for Consolidated Fruit.  


Crane Collapse Kills Two

July 7, Dallas, TX - 58 year old Thomas Fairbrother, Jr. of Austin and 50 year old Terry Weaver of Grand Saline were killed when a crane being dismantled collapsed. It is unclear what caused the collapse.  Both men were employed by Harrison Crane & Hoist, Inc.   

Child Farm Worker Killed

July 9, Deer Grove, IL - 15 year old Curvin Levi Kropf of Tampico, was killed when he was run over by a piece of farm machinery.  Kropf working in a seed-corn field and was riding on a machine to cut individual cornstalks in the field when he fell off and was run over. 

Construction Worker Killed at AZ Airport

July 9, Phoenix, AZ - 58 year old Cesar Rodriguez Montoya was struck and killed while working at the Phoeniz-Mesa Gateway Airport. Montoya was preparing to fuel up a water tanker at a construction site at the airport, and was standing next to his truck when the water tank struck him and pinned him against the truck.  He was employed by a construction company doing work at the airport.

Trash Collection Worker Dies

July 10, Panama City Beach, FL - 25 year old Sean Philbrook died when he was run over by a tractor while collecting trash along the beach. Philbrook, and two others, were in a trailer attached to the tractor. When he attempted to step back on the trailer, he lost his footing and slipped under the tires of the tractor.  

Two Teenage Farm Workers Die

July 12, Middleville, MI - 17 year old Francisco Mendez Martinez and 18 year old Victor Perez were found dead inside a silo at Yankee Springs Dairy Farm. The young men were power-washing the silo. The farm foreman, who went looking for the boys, found their ladder askew and the boys inside the silo.  It is not clear how they came to be inside the silo.  
Entergy Worker Electrocuted

July 12, Houma, LA - 25 year old Roland Lafont III of Montegut,  was electrocuted while working on an electrical box about noon outside a newly built home in Southland Woods subdivision. Lafont worked as a line mechanic for Entergy.

Construction Worker Electrocuted

July 12, Stamford, CT - 40 year old Juan Orozco was electrocuted while operating heavy machinery to lift a steel beam at a construction site. Witnesses told police the beam came into contact with a live wire hanging from a light fixture and saw sparks shoot out when the beam or machinery came into contact with the wire. Orozco worked for Welding Services, Inc.

Explosion of Equipment Kills Worker

July 13, Alpine, UT - 41 year old Ricardo Flores of Pleasant Grove, died when an autoclave door either blew off its hinges or opened and hit Flores in the head.  Flores worked for Adonis Bronze's Alpine facility as a welder and metal chaser. 

Farm Incident Causes Women's Death

July 13, Pepperell, MA - 40 year old Leslie Spoth, a Brookside Farm employee, died after being trapped under an overturned hay wagon. There are no details as to how she became trapped under the wagon.  She died at an area hospital.

Pipeline Worker Killed by Dump Truck

July 14, Lairdsville, OH - 26 year old Timothy J. Wehr of Cambridge was killed when a dump truck that was backing up ran over him. Wehr, a pipeline worker for Integrity Pipeline Services, was helping to install water lines at a gaswell pad site when he was struck.

Teen Killed at Natural Gas Well

July 16, Jackson, OH - 19 year old Paul C. Sherman died in an explosion at an oil and natural gas well site. Sherman was doing touch up painting at the well site when the explosion occurred. Sherman's father, owner of MKE Producing, said his son, a full-time college student, was a subcontractor for the Canton-based company. 

Death of Man Working in Tree

July 16, Willow Springs, NC - 44 year old Johnny B. Blackman was found unconscious 100 feet up in a tree.  Blackman was either self employed or working for an unknown company and was hired to cut the tree down.  It is unclear how or why Blackman became unconscious and he died at the scene.

Man Dies From Industrial Incident

July 16, Davenport, IA - 45 year old Robert Leech of Wheatland, a general mechanic at Alcoa Davenport Works, was killed in an unnamed industrial incident. An investigation is ongoing.

Injured Plant Worker Dies of Burns

July 17, Tomahawk, WI - 47 year old Dennis Jay Gougeon of Onotonagon, MN died, and another worker injured, after being burned by fly ash while cleaning an ash system. Fly ash is a product typically produced during the burning of coal.  He was an employee for Packaging Corporation of America.

Industrial Incident Kills Worker

July 18, Sulphur, LA - 30 year old Gerald Wayne Fondel, Jr. of Lake Charles was killed when a large piece of sheet metal fell on him.  He was employed with Superior Supply and Steel on Cities Services Highway.

 Incident at Plant Kills Worker

July 18, Cedar Rapids, IA - 66 year old Kyriakos Korovilas died at the General Mills plant in Cedar Rapids. It was reported that a man was trapped between a piece of machinery and a safety post. He died at an area hospital. 

Utility Worker Struck by Falling Tree

July 19, Tupelo, MS - Brian Hill, an employee for Tombigbee Electric Power Association in Fulton, died after being hit by a falling tree. Hill was working with a crew to take down a rotting and splitting tree when a piece of it fell onto Hill.   

Man Crushed Under Crane

July 20, Excelsior Springs, KS - 55 year old Robert P. Walker was killed and a co-worker injured when a 3-ton suspended crane fell from an overhead beam, striking him and the co-worker, police said. Both men worked for Rexam, a plastics manufacturing facility. The co-worker suffered non life threatening injuries.

 Falling Beam Kills Worker

July 20, Santa Fe, NM - 29 year old Andrew Vasquez died after a large beam fell on his head while working a summer job dismantling a gas station. A crew was putting large I-beams on a flatbed trailer but one of the beams was not positioned correctly. While a forklift had the 60-foot beam in the air, it fell and landed on the worker's head.

Storage Building Collapses, Killing Man

July 21, Canton, NC - 29 year old Miguel Ortiz, who worked for Carolina Wholesale Bait and Ginseng Buyer, was working inside a storage building when, for an unknown reason, the building collapsed.  All of the workers except for Ortiz were able to get out of the resulting rubble of the building.  

Drunk Drivers Cause Workers Deaths

July 22, Torrance, CA - 56 year old Ramon Lopez of Chino Hills and 58 year old Ricardo Zamora of Winchester were killed when two drunken drivers collided causing the vehicles to strike Lopez and Zamora. The workers were employed by contractors to the California Department of Transportation.

Worker Killed While Hanging Cable

July 23, Huntsville, TN - 29 year old Bruce Lee Marion of Oneida was killed while he was hanging cable from a bucket truck. Authorities say a passing truck clipped the cable, causing it to strike and kill Marion, a lineman for J&R Cable.

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 Man Crushed Under Overturned Forklift

July 23, Wallingford, CT - 60 year old Walter Sawallich, Jr. was killed in an incident involving a forklift. Sawallich operated A&W Hauling in town, was killed when the forklift he was operating at Tayco Corp. overturned, pinning him underneath it.  

Worker Killed by Machinery

July 24, Indianapolis, IN - 53 year old Ronald Davenport was killed when he became trapped in a piece of equipment while working at a job site for Greene Thumb Landscaping. Davenport had been standing on the side of the skid loader when the operator lowered the arms without realizing Davenport was there. When the arms were lowered, they pinned him between the arms and the frame of the machine.  

Worker Struck and Killed

July 24, Troy, WI - 66 year old Gerald Himebauch of Lyons was killed when he was struck by a dump truck who backed up over him. Himebauch was part of a crew doing sealing work on a highway in Troy. Himebauch died at the scene. 

Lumber Mill Worker Killed

July 24, Sonora, CA - 25 year old Ron Billings, a Sierra Pacific Industries worker was killed in an accident at the Sonora Lumber Mill in Standard. Family members of other employees say Billings died in an incident involving a piece of equipment. 

Man Killed in Work Related Incident

July 25, Auburn, IN - 56 year old Paul Graber was killed when he fell from the bucket of a cherry picker while working at Holiday Lakes. He and other Auburn Tree Service employees were attempting to raise a tree from a lake when possibly the weight of the tree caused something to break and the bucket to fall.

Factory Worker Dies in Horrific Incident

July 25, Addison, MI - 27 year old Hector Fermin Campos was killed at Next Specialty Resins Inc. Addison factory after he fell into an industrial grinding machine.  He was in the process of operating the grinder at the time of the incident. 

Man Electrocuted at Fabrication Shop

July 25, Vidor, TX - 40 year old Jason E. Reed of Orange was electrocuted while working in the fabrication shop at Southeast Texas Industries, Inc. It is not reported how or why he was electrocuted.

Man Suffers Fatal Injuries

July 26, Greensboro, NC - Michael Stimpson was killed when he got caught between a tractor and trailer during hookup at Evonik Stockhausen chemical plant.  A preliminary investigation has revealed that Stimpson walked into the path of the cab while another worker was backing up to connect the cab to the trailer.  Stimpson died at the scene.

Miner Killed

July 27, Charleston, WV - 35 year old Johnny Mack Bryant II of Lenore was crushed to death when he became pinned between a mine wall and the boom of a continuous mining machine. Bryant was part of a crew that was setting up the continuous mining machine for the upcoming day shift when the incident occurred.  Bryant worked at Coal River Mining LLC's Fork Creek No. 10 Mine.

Idaho Man Dies Working in California

July 27, Blocksburg, CA - 47 year old Curtis Wayne Zahourek of Mountain Home, ID died while working on an electrical structure as an employee of 3 Phase Construction in Blocksburg.  It is unclear how or why he died. 

Worker Dies in Fall From Ladder

July 27, Allen Park, MI - 55 year old Steny Wing Hoi Yu of Dearborn Heights died four days after he was found lying on the ground near a ladder inside the Postal Services’ Detroit Network Distribution Center in Allen Park, where bulk packages are sorted.

Oilfield Worker Dies in Drilling Incident

July 27, Reagan County, TX - 21 year old Chase Dillon of San Angelo died after falling from a rig while working at Robinson's Drilling Rig 12. He was transported to a local hospital where he died. No further details are available. 

Second Plant Worker Dies of Burns

July 28, Tomahawk, WI - 29 year old Dustin Dean Hale, who suffered burn injuries July 17th at Packaging Corporation of America, has died. His burns were caused by fly ash, which is a by-produce of burning coal. Dennis Gougeon (listed above) also died in the incident.

Tree Trimmer Electrocuted

July 30, Johnston, RI - 23 year old Leonardo Estrada of Providence, a lawn worker, died as a result of the injuries he sustained after he was electrocuted while trying to trim a tree in Johnston. Estrada was standing on an aluminum ladder and trying to trim a tree that was covering wires along the streets when his metal trimmer touched a wire. He was knocked off his ladder.

Man Dies in Fall From Grain Bin

July 30, Montgomery, IN - 56 year old Harry Stoll died of massive head trauma when he fell from a grain silo.  Stoll had just finished loading a feed truck at Hillcrest Supply Inc. in Montgomery and stepped on a 9-inch-wide beam above the truck. The truck pulled away, and Stoll lost his balance and fell.

Another Miner Killed at Mine

July 31, Berkley, WV - 43 year old Gregory A. Byers died from injuries he received in an incident at Arch subsidiary ICG Beckley's Beckley Pocahontas Mine near EcclesByers was near a scoop at an underground charging station, when a second scoop hit the first, causing it to slide into Byers.  Byers was the 13th miner nationwide and the fourth in West Virginia to die on the job in 2012.  

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