Thursday, August 09, 2012

The Weekly Toll:Death in the American Workplace

Worker Electrocuted

January 4, 2012 - St. Landry, LA - 23 year old Johnathan Kyle West died on the job while working for Migues Deloach Company.  He was electrocuted while working with an aerial lift and scaffolding. 

Oil Field Worker Did Not Die of Natural Causes

January 7, Bismark, ND  - 21 year old Dustin Bergsing of Edgar, MT did not die of natural causes as was first reported back in January.  Bergsing, an oil field employee for Marathon Oil Corp. died of hydrocarbon poisoning due to inhalation of petroleum vapors, according to a final report.


Worker Dies in Rail Car Incident

January 30, - Hobert, IN - 55 year old Michael M. Shoemaker died when he became pinned between two rail cars while working for US Steel's Gary Works. 

 Road Construction Worker Struck and Killed

April 4,  - Corona, CA - 21 year old Connor Penhall died after being struck by a suspected drunk driver while working along a California freeway.  He was employed by Cut & Core Construction, doing work for Caltrans.

Ballpark Worker Dies in Accident

April 10, Hagerstown, MD - 18 year old Mitchell Akers was killed when he fell from the back of a truck while performing maintenance duties at Municipal Stadium.  Akers was riding atop some garbage bags in the utility truck when he fell out, striking his head.  He was an employee for the Suns Minor League baseball team.

 Construction Worker Killed in Crane Incident

April 20, DePere, WI - 58 year old Raymond Ashenbrenner of Black River Falls died when  he was pinned underneath a crane arm as workers were unloading equipment from a trailer.  He was working for Lunda Construction.

Metro Bus Driver Murdered

 May 20, Los Angeles, CA - 51 year old Alan Thomas of West Hollywood, a bus driver for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was shot while aboard his bus by a lone gunman. The gunman was arrested for Thomas' murder.

Railroad Conductor Killed on Job

May 28, Kenmare, ND - 38 year old Robert J. Glasgow of Harvey, ND was killed while working on the CP Rail in Kenmare in a rail switching incident. He was a conductor and a member of the UTU Local 887.

 Steam Explosion Kills Worker

June 1, Pascagoula, MS - 20 year old Jeremy Moore of Moss Point became the second worker to die in two weeks time at MS Phosphates plant in Pascagoula. Moore died of an apparent steam explosion at the fertilizer plant.  The first employee, Jeffrey Simpson, was listed in last week's Weekly Toll.

Pilots Die in Plane Crash Fighting Forest Fire

June 4 -  48 year old Todd Tompkins (left) and 40 year old Ronnie Chambliss, both of Boise, ID, were killed when their P-2V air tanker crashed while dumping retardant on a 5,000-acre blaze near the Utah-Nevada border. The cause of the crash is unknown.

Steel Worker Suffers Fatal Crush Injuries

June 8, Claremont, NH - 41 year old Scott Bates died after being crushed by a trailer at the Canam Steel plant in Claremont. Bates had been trying to load a large steel span onto a trailer when he was pinned beneath its wheels.

Worker Killed From Pressurized Blast

June 11, Henderson, NV - 44 year old Thomas Turner died when he was struck in the head by a pressurized blast of grout, mud and fist-sized rocks.  He was working underground with Vegas Tunnel Constructors on the third intake project at Lake Mead. It is unclear what caused the blast.  

Tree Trimmer Falls to His Death

June 11, Waikiki, HI - 26 year old Reid Barcelona who was trimming trees at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki fell to his death. Barcelona was working for a tree trimming service working for the hotel.

Utility Worker Dies in Fall
June 12, Hazard, NE - 46 year old Kurt Keaschall of Pleasanton died after being injured while working on a power pole near Hazard. Keaschall was working in a utility truck bucket when it broke away from its boom. Keaschall fell an estimated 25 feet. Keaschall was employed with Dawson Public Power District.

Worker Suffers Electrocution

June 13, Augusta, GA - 33 year old Javon Maloy, of Bonaire,  died after receiving an electrical shock while working on Richmond County's newest magnet school. Maloy was working in the ceiling area when he was injured.  He was working for a sub contractor for MEJA Construction Company.

Worker Crushed Under Equipment

June 13, Greenville, SC - 28 year old Pedro Alberto Miguel Perez died at a construction site.   Crews were drilling a trench for a water line when a heavy piece of equipment fell on top of Perez and injured another worker who were inside a 16 foot deep trench. The men worked for Payne, McGinn & Cummins, Inc.

Heavy Equipment Crushes Worker

June 14, Madison, WI - 45 year old Terry Hudzinski of Middleton was struck in the head and crushed by an 800-pound hydraulic press being removed from a truckHis employer is unknown. 

Fall From Roof Kills Worker

June 14, Camillus, NY - 46 year old Harvey J. Seymour suffered fatal head injuries when he fell from the roof of a home.  He was placing shingles on the roof when he fell.  He was employed by Landscaping A-Z. 

Shooting Range Owner Struck and Killed

June 15, Colorado Springs, CO - 51 year old Terri Flanell was killed by two smoke bombs flying at 150mph being used for special effects in a new TV show about military vehicles. Flanell owned the Dragon Man shooting range with her husband. The smoke bombs were being used to create a smoky atmosphere for the show when they accidentally detonated and flew toward the film crew.

Shifting Pipes Strike Worker

June 15, Kemper County, MS - 46 year old Emery "Hoyt" Ferguson of Willard, MO was killed while transporting pipes to Mississippi Power's Ignite coal power plant. Ferguson, employed by M.G. Dyess, Inc. died when the pipes in the back of the truck shifted and smashed through the cab of the truck.  

Worker Crushed Under Equipment

June 15, Forsyth, GA - 37 year old Jose Rodriguez of Buford died while working at Lakewood 400 Antiques Market.  When authorities arrived at the scene they found Rodriguez laying under a 'pill pusher' also known as a dye press.  

Worker Killed by Shifting Load

June 16, London, KY - 40 year old Doug Price was killed in an industrial incident while unloading equipment.  Price, owner of Cold Hill Iron Works, was operating a hydraulic lift, unloading equipment weighing in excess of 3000 pounds when, apparently, the load shifted while it was being moved from a utility trailer and struck him. 

Torch Sets Off Deadly Blast

June 19, Arvin, CA - 24 year old Cesar Martinez was killed and a co-worker injured when an oil tank they were attempting to dismantle exploded.  The two employees were working for Skybrand Services and were using a torch to dismantle pipes on top of one tank, which held petroleum vapor. The torch ignited the vapor, blasting the tank about 30 feet into the air. 

Employee Struck and Killed by Equipment

June 19, San Leandro, CA - 66 year old  Evangelina "Eva" Macias died after being struck by a bulldozer while working at a Waste Management plant.  Macias was struck by the vehicle while working as a traffic director in the plant's public drop-off zone.

Dump Truck Strikes, Kills Worker

June 19, Brentwood, Washington, DC - 84 year old Leroy Cook was not working as a mail runner for Fort Myer Construction because he needed to, but because he like to be around people. Cook died after he was struck by a dump truck and his company's asphalt plant.  The dump truck was not owned by the company no other details to the incident are available.  

Man Falls From Elevated Lift

June 19, Bakersfield, CA - 51 year old Luis Roberto Minjarez of Los Angeles died when he fell approximately 50 feet from an elevated basket.  He was working for Cleveland Wrecking from Covina helping to dismantle the abandoned Pacific Gas & Electric Kern Power Plant.  A falling beam hit the basket he was in, causing him to fall.  

Trench Collapse Causes Death

June 21, Staten Island, NY - an unidentified 29 year old man died when he was buried in a trench collapse and subsequently suffered a heart attack. The worker was in the process of replacing piping for a septic system inside the trench for Reliable Plumbing.  A search online has not produced the worker's identity.

Brake Failure Causes Fatal Dump Truck Incident

June 21, Manlius, NY - 49 year old Terry Johnson was killed and another worked injured when the dump truck Johnson was driving crashed off the roadway. Reports say the truck was coming down an incline from the T.H. Kinsella Quarry when the truck lost its brakes and went off the road. Johnson and his passenger jumped from the runaway truck but the truck ran over Johnson.  

Ranger Killed During Rescue Attempt

June 21, Seattle, WA - 34 year old Nick Hall was killed in a fall while rescuing two climbers who had fallen into a crevasse. He was preparing them for a helicopter evacuation when he fell 3,700 feet from the mountain's northeast side. He was not moving after his fall, and attempts to contact him were unsuccessful.

Man Killed by Electric Shock

June 22, West Gardiner, ME - 53 year old Ronald Hickey, owner of Hickey Tree Service, died when he came into contact with a live power line. He was in a boom clearing tree growth away from power lines in front of a home when the incident happened.  

Utility Worker Struck and Killed

June 22, Reading, MI - 56 year old Jeffery Henry Creel was struck by a vehicle as he prepared to assess damages caused by a downed tree limb. He was an employee for Consumer's Energy and was behind his work truck when a resident drove into him.   

Restaurant Owner Dies 

June 24, Schenectady, NY -  30 year old Israel "Bobby" Silva was killed when he was struck in the head by a dumbwaiter at the Bangkok Bistro he co-owned.  The exact circumstances are not known but reports say he was making on the food elevator and it was either inadvertently activated by an employee or it was still operational while he was working on it.

Head On Train Collision Kills Three

June 24, Guymon, OK - 50 year old Conductor Brian L. Stone of Dalhart, TX, and Engineers Dan Hall and John Hall, presumably from Oklahoma, were all killed when the train they were on slammed head on into another freight train causing a massive diesel fuel-fed fire.  

Worker Dies of Heat Stroke

June 25, Fayetteville, AR -  39 year old David Lopez of Mount Pleasant, TX died of a heat stroke suffered while working for Symmetry Turf of Mount Pleasant.  He was working at the University of Arkansas campus when he became ill and was rushed to a local hospital where his body temperature reached 109 degrees.

Auto Worker Crushed by Equipment

June 26, Parma, OH - 52 year old Phil Niewiadomski of Painesville, an employee at the General Motors plant in Parma, died when he was somehow crushed under a heavy piece of equipment. It is unclear at this time what caused the incident.  

Worker Dies of Asphyxia

June 26, Richburg, PA - 33 year old Shawn Merritt of Lancaster is reported to have died from asphyxia while working at ATI Allvac plant. According to the coroner, Merritt was in an area of the plant that filled with super-cooled liquid nitrogen where temperatures in that area can fall to 200 degrees below zero. Any further details are unavailable at this time.

Cell Tower Worker Dies in Fall

June 26, Solway, MN - 19 year old Jeremy Jo Froemke of Lisbon, ND died when he fell 153 feet from a cell tower in Solway. It is unclear how he fell, but he is reported to have been equipped with fall protection. Froemke was employed by Midwest Steeplejacks of Fargo, ND.  

Man Killed in Farm Incident

June 26, Grandview, WA - 57 year old James Womach was killed when he became pinned between a tree and his tractor while spraying a cherry orchard.  One of his workers and a passerby attempted to free him but were unable to move the tractor.

Ship Worker Dies in Fall

June 28, Houston, TX - an unidentified 30 year old man died when he fell from the top of the cargo bay while working on the Thorco Atlantic cargo ship.  He was working at the Houston Ship yard but it is unclear who he was employed by.  

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