Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

Worker Dies When Trench Collapses Around Him

October 23, AUGUSTA, GA - 37 year old Jimmy Roubles died when a sandy trench collapsed Saturday morning, trapping Roubles and another man working on pipes six feet below the surface under a pile of earth. Roubles and his unidentified co-worker were working outside the main office of Allen Homes, an apartment complex off of Laney-Walker Boulevard operated by the Augusta Housing Authority.

Worker Killed in Heavy Machinery Accident

October 22, HORNELL, NY - 46 year old James J. Mihok of Binghamton died during a tragic workplace accident involving a roller. Mihok, an employee of TKH Northeast Inc., based in Vestal, was operating a vibrating roller during the installation of conduit along the roadway, police said in a release. The roller went over the edge and down a 14 foot embankment. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Man Electrocuted at Construction Site

October 22, HARPER'S FERRY, WV - 31 year old Patrick Bachtell of Smithsburg died after he was electrocuted at a construction site in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Bachtell was a contract worker with Somerset Construction. They were building a wheelchair ramp near the Harpers Ferry Campus Center on Hargotz Drive. According to the boom truck operator Bachtell was pouring concrete when all of a sudden the operator saw a flash and Bachtell was on the ground. He died after being transported to a nearby hospital.

Soy Bean Farmer Dies in Grain Bin Accident

October 22, MONTROSE, MN - 77 year old Theodore Richard Salonek died Friday in a grain bin of soybeans in Wright County. Authorities say the 77-year-old man climbed into a grain bin to try and unclog some soybeans when the beans caved in around him. Rescuers tried to empty the bin to free the man. Sadly, the farmer died at the scene.

Two Killed at Factory Where They Worked

October 22, CLEVELAND, OH - 49 year old Graciela Morales and 49 year old Eduardo Pupo were both shot and killed at the factory they worked at. Morales was found dead in her vehicle in the parking lot, shot by an ex-boyfriend. The gunman then used her employee card to gain entrance to the facility where he sought out and also shot Pupo. Morales had previously filed a complaint against the gunman for harassment.

Worker DiesUnder Flipped Tractor

October 22, ABBEVILLE, LA - Jason Leger died when the tractor he was using to remove iron on a farmers land flipped, pinning him underneath. Leger was out of work and asked land owner Bobby Gary if he could remove a pile of iron from the property. As he was trying to pull a heavy piece of iron, the tractor flipped and crushed him.

Worker Killed When Dump Truck Flips Over at Landfill

October 21, MURFREESBORO, TN - A worker at the Mid Point Landfill was killed when a dump truck flipped over and landed on top of him. The sheriff's department said the worker was crushed to death beneath a large dump truck that apparently slid down into a ravine.

Worker Dies in Electrical Accident at Steel Plant

October 21, JAKIN, GA - 34 year old Jamie Vickers of Jakin died today from injuries he sustained yesterday at Qualico Steel in Webb. Mr. Vickers was working on something that the power was disconnected to, but the power was later connected to check some other equipment and it was just never disconnected again before Vickers started working on it.

Truck Driver Succumbs to Natural Causes

October 21, ABERDEEN, SD - 73 year old George Klett, a truck driver from Cantril, IA was found dead inside his rig at a South Dakota truck stop. It appears he died of natural causes and authorities do not suspect foul play.

OK County Worker Killed in Collision With Train

October 21, CANEY, OK - 66 year old George Wendell Maxey, an Atoka County employee, was killed when the county vehicle he was driving collided with a train. Maxey and a co-worker, Floyd Stafford, were both traveling West on Folsom Road in Caney, when Maxey’s truck was hit by an oncoming Union Pacific train. "He was right behind me, I made it across and I guess he just didn't see it I don't know,” said Stafford. Friends and co-workers say the intersection is notorious for being dangerous.

Construction Worker Dies in Accident

October 21, SPANISH FORK, UT - a 31 year old construction worker died after the bucket from an excavator fell and struck him in the chest. The man and two coworkers were leveling a manhole near 700 N. Lynbrook (1100 East) when the excavator broke a piece of concrete, became unstable, and dropped the bucket into the hole and onto the man. He died on the way to the hospital. The Utah Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the man’s death and OSHA is looking into the accident, Adams said. Police are not conducting a criminal investigation. UPDATE: Authorities have identified the victim as 31 year old Ricardo Carmona of the Kearns area.

Well Liked Manager of Pizza Store Found Dead

October 21, RADFORD, VA - 27 year old Jason Levi Stigger was found dead of a gunshot wound inside the Papa John's store he managed. His body was discovered by one of the store's delivery drivers who had returned to the store. An employee of the restaurant has been arrested and charged with Stigger's murder. It appears the suspect tried to rob the store.

Two State Highway Workers Struck and Killed

October 21, WALDORF, MD - 28 year old Marlon E.C. Lorenzo and 24 year old Erick T.M. Alvarado, both of Silver Spring, were killed when an SUV went off the highway and ran into them. Both men, State Highway Administration contract workers, had mowed the median of State Route 228 in the Waldorf area on Thursday and were picking up trash when a 2004 Volkswagen Touareg went off the road and hit two of them. He says the men were pronounced dead on the scene. The third worker was not struck and was not injured. The workers were wearing their fluorescent green highway safety vests. It appears the driver of the SUV fell asleep behind the wheel.

Jewelry Store Owner Killed During Robbery

October 21, PHILADELPHIA, PA - 67 year old William Glatz, 2nd generation owner of William Glatz Jewelry, was shot in the chest and died at a hospital, police said. The alleged robber died inside Glatz Jewelers in northeast Philadelphia of gunshot wounds to the head and chest, police spokeswoman Jillian Russell said. "There was an exchange of gunfire between the perpetrators and the store owner," police Capt. Michael McCarrick said.

Experienced Logger Killed in Accident

October 21, FORKS, WA - 47 year old William Todd Horton, an experienced tree faller and independent logging contractor, was killed when a fallen tree pivoted around and hit him after a tree he was cutting tumbled onto it. Horton was working in the woods off the P-1600 Forest Road near the Clallam Bay prison at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, said Clallam County Sheriff's Chief Criminal Deputy Ron Cameron. A machine operator who didn't see the accident did see the tree swing and knew something was wrong. That operator phoned emergency responders but Horton died before they arrived.

Crane Topples, Killing Operator

October 20, MOUNTAIN PINE, AR - Roy Case was killed in a crane accident Wednesday afternoon at a water treatment plant. It happened in Mountain Pine, located in Garland County. He was owner/operator of the crane. As a construction crew was working on an access road to the Ouachita Water Treatment Facility, a crane lifting a too-heavy object, tipped forward killing the operator inside the cab. The Hot Springs Fire Department Chief says the construction worker died almost instantly.

Worker Crushed at IN Steel Plant

October 20, EAST CHICAGO, IN - 33 year old Jason Ham of Wheeler, died after a machine part fell on him at an ArcelorMittal steel mill in East Chicago. The company issued a statement Thursday saying a preliminary investigation showed the mechanic was removing a hydraulic cylinder when something disturbed an arm supporting a pivot table, causing the table to pivot downward. Ham was pronounced dead from blunt force trauma at the scene of the accident late Wednesday.

Man Dies After Fall From Roof

October 20, OAKDALE, PA - 60 year old Raymond Stidd died when he fell from the roof of a landscape supply company Wednesday afternoon. No other details are available.

Worker Killed When Support Beam Collapsed Under Him

October 20, KANNAPOLIS, NC - 50 year old Hun Woo Jung of Kannapolis, a construction worker for Eun Construction, died when a support beam gave way causing a sun room he was working on to collapse. Capt. Shannon Harris of the Mount Holly Police Department said the sun room was being built on the back of a house under construction in the River Park subdivision at 108 Sculpin Lane.

Man Dies in Accident at PA Loading Dock

October 20, OCHLOCKNEE, PA - 63 year old Kenneth Herman of Knox, PA died when the trailer of a truck driven by a plant employee pinned Herman against the concrete loading dock, crushing him. Authorities say an Oil-Dri Company driver was backing up his trailer at a loading dock. The driver did not see Herman as he backed up the trailer. Authorities say Herman worked for an independent trucking company.

Baltimore Officer Dies After Collision With Fire Truck

October 20, BALTIMORE, MD - 32 year old Tommy Portz, an officer with the Baltimore Police Dept has died after crashing his cruiser into a city fire engine that was stopped on a highway. Portz went into cardiac arrest after the crash around 10 a.m. on U.S. 40 in west Baltimore. He died at a trauma center. Police are investigating the crash. It's not clear whether Portz was responding to a call or had his lights and sirens activated.

Store Owner Killed During Robbery

October 20, TAMPA, FL - 73 year old Salvatore Agostino, owner of Antiques Etc, was killed during an apparent robbery Wednesday afternoon in Tampa. Agostino, who used a motorized wheelchair, was found inside the store with upper body trauma, police said. Agostino's brother contacted police after he did not come home after work and could not be contacted at the store. His death is being investigated.

Market Clerk Shot During Robbery

October 19, WATSONVILLE, CA - 32 year old Yahya Saleh Ali Ahmed was killed during a robbery at the Fiesta Latino Market where Ahmed was a clerk. Watsonville police Lt. Darren Thompson said the suspect entered the store and talked to the clerk. The man left briefly and came back in. He flashed a dark revolver, demanded money and shot the clerk in the chest at point-blank range.

Forklift Accident Kills Worker

October 19, AKRON, OH - 52 year old David Sekusky was working at Shaker's Auto Salvage and Towing on S. Van Buren Avenue in Barberton when he was apparently hit by a fork lift. Sekusky was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:11 am. An autopsy is planned for tomorrow. His death is under investigation.

Worker Dies After Falling From Bridge

October 19, CATLETTSBURG, KY - a 49 year old man has died from injuries sustained in a fall. Boyd County coroner Chris Stewart tells that the 49-year old man suffered multiple injuries when he fell approximately 30 feet from a bridge on I-64 near the Marathon Refinery. His name is being withheld until relatives can be notified. It is not clear who he was working for.

Newspaper Delivery Man Hit by Car, Dies

October 18, ANNVILLE, PA - 53 year old Reed Pruitt O'Neal is dead after being struck by a car in central Pennsylvania. O'Neal was delivering papers for The Patriot-News of Harrisburg when he stepped into the westbound lanes of East Main Street and was struck.

Tractor Trailer Driver Dies in Crash

October 18, BALTIMORE, MD - 49 year old Jeffrey Todd Meade of Verona, VA died when the semi he was driving overturned this morning on the inner loop of the Capital Beltway. Fire Capt. Oscar Garcia reported that the trailer appeared to have driven off the road and the cab of the truck was against a tree when Montgomery Fire and Rescue arrived at the scene.

Phoenix Police Office Found Shot

October 18, PHOENIX, AZ - 34 year old Sgt. Sean Drenth, of the Phoenix Police Dept was found shot to death Monday night. Police say their headquarters lost contact with Drenth less than an hour before the Arizona Capitol Police discovered his body. Drenth was shot in an open area often used by officers to work on paperwork in their cars while keeping an eye on happenings in their surroundings, police said.

Worker Found Dead in Work Truck

October 18, OREGON CITY, OR - 47 year old David Campbell, who was found unconscious in his work truck has died of probably natural causes. He was found slumped behind the steering wheel of his pickup truck at the entrance of the Tillamook Cheese Factory, troopers said. Troopers said Campbell was doing installation work in a factory building earlier in the day when he complained to co-workers of chest pain. He was last seen going to his pickup to make a phone call at about 2 p.m. A little more than one hour later, a fellow worker went to look for Campbell and found him unconscious in his pickup.

Carnival Worker Found Dead Inside Pickup Truck

October 18, FULLERTON, CA - 58 year old Dan Lawrence White of Long Beach was found dead today inside a truck in the parking lot of St. Mary's Catholic Church. The man was a carnival worker who was hired to work at the church festival. He was found by other carnival workers who became worried after he didn't show up for work, police said. An autopsy performed Tuesday failed to determine a cause of death, said Orange County Supervising Deputy Coroner Daniel Aikin, adding that further investigation will be needed.

Imperial Valley Field Worker Dies in Backhoe Accident

October 18, SEELEY, CA - 73 year old Margarito Hernandez Alonzo died Monday from injuries he received from the backhoe portion of a tractor he was using. No further details are available. The incident that occurred off of Drew Road was reported at 12:03 p.m., Imperial County Deputy Coroner Eric Frazier said.

Steel Plant Worker Crushed to Death

October 18, SOUDERTON, PA - 57 year old Dieu V. Nguyen of Lansdale has died today from injuries sustained Sunday at the Haberle Steel plant. Hilltown police said Nguyen was found pinned between two sheets of heavy steel stock around 10 a.m. Sunday. Police said the accident was reported to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Mortuary Employee Killed on the Job

October 18, PEARL CITY, HI - an unidentified employee of Mililani Memorial Park and Mortuary in Pearl City are mourning the loss of one of their employees who was killed on the job. The employee was operating a backhoe when it tipped over and pinned the employee, according to a prepared statement. UPDATE: Authorities have identified the employee as 42 year old Robert Ichioka of Central Oahu.

Farm Worker Killed by Truck

October 18, SALINAS, CA - 46 year old Alfredo Gonzalez Raya of Salinas, an employee for Church Brothers, died of blunt force injuries when he was struck by a semi-truck belonging to Church Brothers. Another worker was injured in the accident. Raya and the other worker had their backs to the semi and the driver did not see the men.

Plant Explosion in TX Kills Worker

October 18, ANTHONY, TX - Apolonio Arras died after a furnace explosion early this morning at the Arcelor Mittal Plant. Sheriff's officials said employees reported hearing a loud explosion and then saw heavy smoke. They noticed one employee was missing, entered the building and turned off the power to the furnaces. They found Arras on the ground and he later died after undergoing surgery. Crimes Against Persons detectives are now working working with officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as they continue an investigation into the incident.

Worker Dies in Industrial Accident

October 17, CODORUS TWP, PA - 63 year old Dale Lentz, a maintenance worker for BAE, died Sunday as a result of injuries received in a work-related accident at the defense plant Oct 12. Lentz was using a piece of high-reach equipment similar to a cherry picker to repair a garage door overhead, said Dave Roccasecca, assistant director for the Harrisburg area office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Lentz apparently hit his head and became pinned between the door and the high-reach from which he was working, and was crushed before a co-worker discovered him, Roccasecca said.

Pictsweet Employee Dies

October 17, BELLS, TN - an unidentified member of the sanitation crew at Pictsweet who was injured on Saturday has died today. The victim's co-workers say they believe he was hurt after his clothing became entangled in a machine. Company officials are not commenting but authorities are on site doing an investigation.

Semi Driver Killed in Truck Accident

October 15, WALNUT RIDGE, AR - 38 year old Rodney L. Dobbs was fatally injured on Friday morning when the tractor-trailer he was driving was involved in a one-vehicle accident in Missouri. According to a report from the Missouri State Police, the semi was eastbound and was passing another vehicle when the truck left the roadway on the left side, over corrected and then overturned and left the roadway on the right side.

Recently Laid Off Worker, Dies Helping Former Employer

October 13, OCONOMOWOC, WI - 55 year old Don Loppnow Jr., a sheet metal worker with MSI for 37 years, died from injuries sustained in a fall from a roof. He slipped off the dormer of the roof, landing on the porch and then fell to the ground. A co-worker tried to resuscitate him unsuccessfully. Despite doing work on the house owned by his former employer, Craig Coursin, president of MSI Development Corp., in Oconomowac, Supervisor Hager (OSHA) said Loppnow was recently laid off due to slow business and therefore was not being compensated for his work. As a result, Hager said OSHA could not issue citations despite Loppnow not wearing fall protection gear, among other potential safety violations.

Farm Accident Claims Woman's Life

October 11, ARCADE, NY - 39 year old Anna Eccles, a farm hard for Patrick Huton Farms, was found dead in a pasture at the farm. An investigation revealed that she was an employee of the farm and was most likely killed by a bull. Deputy Matt Sage, one of the officers who responded to the call, said the medical examiner's report stated that Anna sustained "blunt force injuries to the chest, consistent with an animal attack."


Anonymous said...

This is a really interesting website. The website has got the weekly fat/cat reports which addresses approximately one fourth of the construction fatalities in the country, according to comments by Richard Fairfax the head of enforcement for OSHA at a conference I attended last week. It's good to see that someone is finding many of the other fatalities that occur, and give a much more in-depth explanation of what happened. This can be a valuable teaching aid a.k.a. toolbox talk for employers to use to address safety issues with real-life stories. Unfortunately we are not born with the correct way to perform our work this has to be learned. A comprehensive safety program is necessary for best practices. There are several places where you can find safety programs. First, you can check with OSHA, or many states who run their own programs, for sample programs you may use or adapt. is a great site for safety programs for construction safety programs. is another good site with lots of information for craftworkers, and of course 's site as well.

Unknown said...

You can also find more information at the bureau of labor statistics website. Also, many state department of health adopted programs called fatality assessment programs. I hope this helps.

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