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Fatalities in the workplace – March 24, 2011

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), there were 4,340 workers who died on the job in the U.S. in 2009.  In the words of the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis: “With every one of these fatalities, the lives of a worker’s family members were shattered and forever changed. We can’t forget that fact.”

In light of that, we occasionally on this blog will summarizes the facts and circumstances of work related fatalities and catastrophes based on reported state and federal incidents to OSHA.  Our hope is that by bringing attention to some of these that involve inattention, falls  or other preventable causes, future fatalities can be avoided.  OSHA provides weekly fatality summaries, but updates them with a several month delay.  The following are just some of the summaries for the weeks ending January 8th and 15th, 2011 – the most recent weeks published.

In Puerto Rico, a worker was dispatching merchandise in a warehouse when the worker was pinned by a forklift.

In Massachusetts, a worker was constructing a scaffold and fell 19 feet to the ground.

In Louisiana, a logger was killed when he was operating a delimber machine with two logs in the grapple tray. The worker was pulling the logs through to the cutting knives on the delimber when a log flew up and struck him.

In California a worker fell 14 feet through plywood from a second floor when shoring was removed from a form.

In Florida, a worker installing recessed lighting fixtures fell from an 8 foot ladder.

A worker for Honey Creek Disposal Services in Lawrence, Kansas was run over by a refuse truck.

At a trucking company in Florida, worker was in the process of adjusting the brakes on a flatbed trailer. The mechanic had not checked the wheels before working on the brakes. When the trailer was released from the tractor, it rolled over the worker causing fatal injuries.

In Hartford, Wisconsin, a worker was walking across the parking lot when struck by a company truck.

In Ft. Meade, Maryland, a worker was removing packing material from a large battery supply unit using an all terrain fork truck when the unit fell on the worker.

In Magnolia, Texas, a worker was operating a pipe threading machine when he stepped in to a scrap metal dumpster and struck his upper leg against the edge of the dumpster.

In Las Vegas, Nevada, worker in a Laundry and Linen company was discovered lying on the ground and unresponsive. Cause of death was determined to be cardiac arrest, but the worker exhibited signs of electrical burns.

At Lunar Steel in East Brunswick, New Jersey a worker fell 21 feet off a steel beam.

In Lodi, Wisconsin, a worker was loading antiques onto a pallet and fell through a floor opening.

In Tao Baja, Puerto Rico, a worker performing maintenance was suctioned by a pressure vessel that was part of a furnace system.

In City of Industry, CA a worker for Bulk Transportation was descendinfg a tractor trailer ladder when he fell to the ground.

At Coppa’s Service Center & Towing in North Brunswick, New Jersey, a worker was caught between the flatbed and the cab of a wrecker.

Finally, a worker in Los Angeles, hired by a homeowner fell 10 feet from a scaffold, landing on his head.

The Padberg Corrigan Law Firm encourages all workers to remember to be careful.  Should you, or someone you love be injured or killed in a work related incident, please contact us for a free evaluation of the best options available to you under the law.



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