Monday, November 24, 2003

The Weekly Toll

Worker Crushed To Death

WINDSOR TOWHSHIP, Pa. -- A York County worker was killed Monday morning after an industrial accident at his company just south of Red Lion.

It appears Terry Houser, of Spring Grove, 41, was crushed to death while working on a piece of equipment

"He got in between two pieces of equipment and was pinned in there and could not breathe," Mary Breighner, the chief deputy coroner said.

"He was not a machine operator," Police Chief Tom Gross said.

"Actually, I believe the machine operators were on a break, and there was some problem with the machine that he was trying to rectify."

Hmm, he “got” between two pieces of equipment? Sounds like your basic lockout-tagout failure to me

Man found dead at bottom of grain silo

A Muleshoe man died Thursday morning at a Farwell grain elevator owned by AGP Grain Marketing, according to Farwell police.

Samuel Alvarado appears to have fallen into a grain silo and died as a result of suffocation, said Farwell Police Chief Robert Achterberg.

More here.

Three Workers Drown in Flash Flood

Three construction workers were killed in aflash flood Wednesday in Woodlawn.

The drowned worker who was first discovered in Dead Run was identified Thursday as Michael L. Shawyer, 22, of Cavetown in Washington County.

Arturo Zarate, 44, of Hyattsville, the father of three, was found about 250 feet inside the culvert that runs beneath Interstate 70 and two ramps at about 11:45 a.m.

His foot was stuck under a pipe inside the culvert, which is apparently why he wasn't swept into Dead Run with the two workers who were found Wednesday, said Elise Armacost, a county Fire Department spokeswoman.

Zarate left his wife and three children -- ages 18, 16, and 13 -- in El Salvador two years ago to earn money in the United States for his family. He was planning to return to El Salvador in March, said Jose Alvarez, whose parents adopted Zarate as an infant.

"I don't believe it's true; it doesn't seem real," said Diana Rosa, sister of one of the dead workers, Santos Zetino, who also was known as Milton Ventura, 29, of Hyattsville.

Zetino had been found Wednesday and taken to St. Agnes HealthCare where he was pronounced dead.

The Gaithersburg company that employed the three workers who had been cited for more than 30 workplace safety violations, state and federal records show.

A crane operator for Concrete General Inc. was killed on the job in 1988. Another employee's arms had to be amputated after he was shocked by a power line in 1982, and a Concrete General worker was rescued after a trench collapsed in 1995. Most recently, in 2000 and 2001, the company was cited six times for trenching violations, according to Maryland Occupational Safety and Health records. More here.

Worker dies at Smithfield Packing plant

A Fayetteville man was found dead inside a tanker truck at the Smithfield Packing plant in Tar Heel on Thursday morning.

An employee found Glenn Birdsong in the tanker at 9:30 a.m., according to a statement issued by the company. Attempts to resuscitate him failed. Birdsong was 25.

Birdsong was an employee of Labor Ready, a company that provides temporary workers. Labor Ready has a contract to clean Smithfield's tanker trucks. The statement issued by Smithfield did not say if anything was inside the tanker.

More here.

North Dartmouth man killed in elevator accident

Stephen Custadio, 53, a maintenance man at E.C. Pigment in Fall River, was trying to fix a stuck elevator when the cable broke, authorities say.

FALL RIVER, MA -- A broken elevator cable dropped a North Dartmouth man two stories, resulting in his death yesterday afternoon, Asst. Dist. Atty. Gerald FitzGerald said.

Stephen Custadio, 53, of North Dartmouth, was a longtime maintenance man at E.C. Pigment, formerly known as Roma Color Inc., FitzGerald said. Custadio's son, Adam, was the plant's other maintenance man, according to one coworker.

Custadio was trying to repair a freight elevator that was stuck on the second floor of the E.C. Pigment plant at 749 Quequechan St., FitzGerald said.

At about 1:30 p.m., a cable broke and the emergency brake did not activate, FitzGerald said. Custadio was alone in the elevator when the accident took place, according to Fall River police Lt. Jeff Cardoza.

Explosion at Brandon gas station kills 1, injures 1

BRANDON -- Gasoline tanks exploded as they were being removed from a shuttered convenience store Wednesday, killing one worker and injuring another, authorities said.

Workers were cutting into tanks with saws at the time of the explosion shortly after noon, said the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. The blast sent plumes of thick smoke into the air and sent workers at an adjacent strip mall scrambling.

Killed in the incident was Pete Watson, 32, of Lutz, the sheriff's office said. The injured man was identified as Rick Parker of Winter Haven. More here.

Second welder dies from burns

BUFORD, GA — The second welder who was severely burned during a flash explosion in a water pipeline died last week at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Keith Duffer, 47, died Thursday after having been in critical condition since the explosion Nov. 10, according to Denise Simpson, spokeswoman for Grady Memorial Hospital.
The other victim, 32-year-old Brian Lipe, died on Wednesday.

Duffer, a welding superintendent, and Lipe, a supervisor, were employees of National Welding Corp. in Salt Lake City, Utah, which had been subcontracted to weld the 6-foot in diameter water pipes. Once constructed, the pipeline will transfer water for Gwinnett County from Lake Sidney Lanier to a water treatment plant.

Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration officials are still trying to determine the cause of the explosion, which has been attributed to a gas leak.

One Killed; One Injured in Wall Collapse

Hyattsville, MD -- One construction worker was killed and another was injured today when a wall collapsed at a parking garage they were helping to build in Hyattsville, authorities said. Bradford Mearig, a 34-year-old male of Lititz, Pa., was killed instantly, police said.

Officials said they believe the collapse was attributable to strong winds, although the cause has not yet been officially determined. Prince George's County police and Maryland occupational safety officials were investigating. More here.

Worker killed in mill accident

CLOQUET, MN - A 47-year-old paper mill worker was killed early Tuesday in an industrial accident.
Kerry Roe, of Cloquet, died in the finishing department at Sappi Fine Paper while doing maintenance work on electrical equipment and computer controls, company officials said.

Roe apparently got caught in the hydraulic arm of a machine that wraps rolls of paper with a protective cover, Capt. Steve Kolodge of the Cloquet Fire Department said. The accident was reported to fire and rescue officials just after midnight.

Fatal accident involved fork lift

Aspen, CO -- A 20-foot fall off a forklift preceded the death of man at a construction site in Woody Creek Tuesday afternoon.

El Jebel resident Everado Garcia Lopez, 25, was killed in what authorities have deemed an accident. He had been working on the roof of a single-family residence. Two other men were injured in the accident, but officials have not released their names

According to sheriff’s Investigator Ron Ryan, two workers were standing in a plywood box lifted up to the edge of the roof, 22 feet from the ground, by a telescoping forklift. Ryan said the 4-foot-by-8-foot box was open-aired and open on the side facing the house so the men could work on the roof.

The box also held their tools and materials for the roof, he said. Around 3 p.m. the box fell to the ground, with the workers inside.

Worker Dies in Fall

Venice Gondolier, FL -- Officials are still trying to link the chain of events leading up to the death of a construction worker at the Waterfront on Venice Island condominiums Nov. 7.

William J. Molinaro, 44, 1000 block West Baffin Drive, Venice, died when he fell from an eighth-floor balcony. Police called it a
workplace accident.