Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

As always, it is with sadness we even have to make this list. Our thoughts and hearts go out to the family members who have been affected by such a tragedy. If we can be of help in any way, please let us know.

October 30, 2014 - Hutchinson, KS - 29 year old Joshua Tacy was working to help load metal on a rail car for Midwest Iron & Metal, a recycling company, when he was struck by the machine being used to load the scrap.

October 30, 2014 - Wallula, WA - James Pugh of Smelterville, ID was driving his Excel Transport, Inc. semi truck when he suffered a cardiac event and crashed the truck into a utility pole. His death was ruled natural causes. 

October 31, 2014 - Boston, GA - 32 year old Victor Chavez was working to unload a large container of cotton seeds, when he fell and was buried under the seeds. He was unable to free himself. He was working for Boston Gin Company.

November 1, 2014 - Chicago, IL - 44 year old Roberto Topia-Gonzales was working for an unlicensed contractor without a building permit on a construction project when he was crushed and buried under a brick wall that collapsed.

November 1 - Muskegon, MI - 54 year old Michael Yell was working for Continental Dairy when he fell from a moving semi truck trailer and was run over. He was helping to unload the truck and climbed onto the passenger side of the truck when he fell, unseen, by the driver and was struck by the trailer.

November 1 - El Dorado Springs, MO - 25 year old Deputy Matt Chism was making a routine stop for the Cedar County Sheriff Department when he was shot during an altercation with the person he stopped.

November 3 - New Orleans, LA - 57 year old Edward Burton was working for Traffic Solutions on the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway when his work vehicle was struck from behind by garbage truck and pushed into the river below.

November 3 - Guntersville, AL - 41 year old Stephen Paul Woods of Albertville was struck in the head by a pile driver as he worked behind a private residence. He had just completed a pier to a boat house and was moving a platform to another location when the incident happened. He was employed by Greg Weaver Construction of Guntersville.

November 3 - Jersey City, NJ - 58 year old Gary Anderson of Somerdale was making a delivery of drywall to a construction site for George Hildebrandt Inc., who he was a contractor for, when a one pound tape measure fell from a worker's tool belt from the 50th story on the construction site. It hit a piece of equipment on its way down and then struck him in the head. He worked for an unnamed New York based trucking company.

November 3 - Charleston, WV - An unidentified lineman for Virginia based David H. Elliot, working at the Murray Energy McElroy Mine was fatally electrocuted while working to replace copper wire that had been stolen from an electrical line.

November 4 - Lapeer, MI - 34 year old Bradley Davis of Millington was working at the Lapeer Industries machine shop when an over-pressurized tank exploded. The specific circumstances are not clear.

November 4 - York, ME - 50 year old James Woodward was working along the York River Bridge when he was struck by a dump truck driven by his co-worker. Woodward was in the blind spot of the dump truck when he was hit. Both worked for Shaw Brothers Construction.

November 4 - Coos Bay, OR - 55 year old Estella Morgan was driving her Bureau of Land Management SUV and came upon a logging operation. As she neared the site a tree that had just been cut fell onto her vehicle, crushing her inside.

November 5 - Decatur, TX - An unidentified man was operating a backhoe during construction at a private residence when the backhoe flipped and he was pinned underneath. No further information is known.

November 6 - Valley Falls, KS - 58 year old Mike Miller was working on the family farm when he fell into a grain bin on the property.

November 7 - Fairfield, OH - 53 year old David Geiger of Cincinnati was performing maintenance at Northwest Bowling Alley, his employer, when his clothing became caught up and tangled in a pin-setting machine causing asphyxia.

November 8 - Tilden, TX - 50 year old Roel Rodriguez was working at Pioneer Natural Resources Eagle Ford oil rig when it caught on fire and exploded on October 24th. He and other workers were severely hurt in the explosion and he died on November 8th. The condition of the other workers is unknown. 

November 9 - Erie, PA - Jacob Schwab was an Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority employee when he was struck in the head while working. He was repairing a bus when something on the bus exploded, striking him in the head.

November 10 - Huntington Station, NY - Julian Castellanos was working for an unnamed construction company on a project in Long Island when he was killed. He had built two retaining walls and was working on the steps when one of the walls collapsed onto him. 

November 11 - Ocean Springs, MS - 42 year old Gerald Moran of Gulf Park Estates fell to his death from a balcony while working construction on an Ocean Springs home. Apparently he was pulling a board from the roof and it slid faster and more easily than expected, causing him to lose his balance. His employer is not known.

November 11 - Phoenix, AZ - An unidentified man was working under a truck when it fell from the jack, crushing him.  He was a private contractor working at Fred Terry's Contracting. Attempts to locate the worker's name has been unsuccessful.

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2014/11/11/5908099_construction-worker-who-fell-from.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

November 11 - New Albany, OH - 23 year old Kevin Harris of Jenison, MI was a diver who was working to clean out a retention pond in New Albany when something went wrong under water and he drowned. An investigation continues to find out what happened to cause the incident.  He was working for the Chicago based company U.S. Aqua Vac, a company specializing in cleaning various bodies of water.

November 11 - Bridgeton, MO - 31 year old Marreo Travis was doing some testing at Ferro Magnetics, a battery charging plant, when he was electrocuted. The circumstances of the incident are not named.

November 12 - Sarahsville, OH - 48 year old Norman Butler of Newport News, VA was working at a fracking oil well site on a pump for Blue Racer Midstream when an explosion and fire occurred and he was killed. He was employed by Buffalo Gap Instrumental & Electrical.

November 12 - Warwick, RI - 45 year old Paul Matos of Fall River, MA was working on a construction project when he was struck by a large piece of equipment. He died at an area hospital. He was working for AGI Construction on the Apponaug Circulation project.

November 12 - Zelienople, PA - 54 year old Paul Reece of Harmony was working from an elevated bucket trimming trees when he fell or was thrown from the bucket to the ground. He was working at English Lutheran Church in Zelienople for American Tree Service.

November 12 - Staten Island, NY - An unidentified employee for Flag Container Service Company was working to unload a dumpster at Richmond County Country Club in Todt Hill when the container fell, crushing him underneath.

November 12 - Everett, WA - Silvestre Mitra was working at Good Samaritan Adult Family Home, a residential care facility, putting away laundry when he went into cardiac arrest. His death was ruled natural causes.

November 13 - Mead, CO - 36 year old Matthew Smith of Brighton was working with two others trying to heat a frozen high-pressure water line when something went wrong, causing the line to rupture. He was struck by a highly pressurized stream of water.  He was employed Halliburton working on the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation's well site.

November 13 - Raleigh, NC - 42 year old Jose Luis Rosales-Nava was part of a crew working on a pedestrian bridge at Wake Technological Community College in Raleigh when the bridge collapsed. He was trapped under part of the frame structure that collapsed while pouring concrete for the bridge.  He was employed by Central Concrete of North Carolina, a subcontractor for Skanska Construction.

November 13 - Avon Lake, OH - Larry "Gomer" Heczko was working construction on an upscale home near Lake Erie when he was killed as a concrete wall collapsed. The name of his employer is not known, but he was also a beloved member of the Avon Lake Fire Department.

November 15 - LaPorte, TX - Four Dupont Chemical Refinery workers were killed when a lethal gas was released and they were asphyxiated. Crystal Wise, a newer employee, called for help after she had gone to check on a line. Robert Tisnado, 38, and Wade Baker, 60, rushed inside the space without masks and were overcome by the toxic gas. After losing radio contact with his three co-worker's, 48 year old Gilbert "Gibby" Tisnado grabbed a mask and ran in to help. He removed his mask and put it on his little brother Robert but he was overcome as well. An investigation continues.

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