The Death Toll: August Edition

by on August 25, 2011 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

On average, about 16 employees are killed on the job each day.

“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.”-Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor

Veteran worker dies on loading dock
A forklift driver who’d worked at a Seneca, ID food-processing plant for 40 years was killed when he was hit by a truck at the facility’s loading dock.

Thomas Walker, 59, Payette, ID, was backing up a forklift on the loading dock when a semi hit him and pinned him under the truck. Heart-breaker: Local news reports indicate the truck driver was a friend of Walker’s.

Walker, scheduled to retire in November, died at the scene. OSHA and state police are investigating.

Source: KTVB-TV, Boise, ID.

Employee went beyond work’s scope
There’s nothing wrong with initiative – as long as safety’s taken into account.

A maintenance worker was tasked with repairing stairs in a Hackensack, NJ, apartment complex. However, at some point, the worker chose to repair metal railings in a nearby walkway.

Apparently the worker lost his balance and fell 30 feet to his death.

The worker, whose name was not released by press time, was found by a resident.

Lesson for safety directors: Make sure workers know, when taking initiative for a “quick repair,” to do a quick hazard-analysis, too. If work is strictly limited in scope, as in this case, supervisors should notify workers.

Source: Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ.

Reminder: lives are worth more than stuff
This tragedy is in the retail world, but the idea is transferable anywhere – maintain a sense of proportion when it comes to material goods.

A drug-store manager in Kent, WA, saw a thief shoplifting two cartons of cigarettes. Broderick Koga, 52, chased the thief across the store’s parking lot.

Koga chased the thief over a six-foot retaining wall. The manager tripped and tumbled over the wall. He was knocked unconscious and later died at a local hospital.

Lesson: In industrial and construction settings, there may be times where thieves take something and try to run away, such as tools from a pickup truck. Remind workers to keep in mind that their lives’ are worth more than what’s being stolen.

Source: Seattle Times.

Worker pulled into construction drill
Workers need to remember that some safety equipment can present snare hazards. In Aspen, CO, a 39-year-old was killed when his safety cord became entangled in a construction drill used to make hole in hard rock.

The worker, whose name was not released, was pulled into a spinning auger and died at the scene.

Source: Denver Post.

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