Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Jordan Barab's Weekly Toll

If your stomach can take it, go over to Confined Space and view the current installment of The Weekly Toll, Jordan Barab's depressing recital of a fortnight's slaughter in the workplace. Among the deaths, culled from newspapers around the country:
A trench collapse two days before Christmas claimed the life of a young construction worker laboring on the Yost Road widening project.

PEARLAND TX— Arturo Fierro, 21, became trapped last Thursday after a water main burst in the 10-foot deep trench where he was working in with two other men, according to Rick Fernandez, public information officer with the Pearland Police Department,The other two escaped, Fernandez said, but they were unable to rescue Fierro, who was quickly submerged by the water gushing into the trench and possibly pinned down by the weight of the dirt falling from the unshored walls of the trench. Rescuers at the scene spent more than five hours working in the cold water and mud to retrieve Fierro's body. As one worker used a backhoe to scoop out the ever-rising waters from the hole in an attempt to reach him, others assembled plywood shoring and lowered it into the hole in an attempt to contain the dissolving dirt walls. As hours ticked by, the rescue attempt turned into a recovery effort, leaving workers staring blankly into the trench where Fierro's body lay submerged.

Feds Investigating Accidental Death at Rice Mill

STUTTGART, AR - Federal safety investigators are looking into the accidental death of a worker who fell at a rice mill in Stuttgart. Clifton Darnell Guydon, 42, of Stuttgart, died at the Producers Rice Mill on December 18. He fell 26 feet from a roof to be refurbished by McCollum Roofing of Stuttgart.

Investigation of fatal accident at Boone mine continues

CHARLESTON, W.Va.- State and federal authorities are trying to determine what caused a section of high wall to fall onto an excavator at a Boone County surface mine, killing the machine's operator. The accident occurred at about 2 a.m. Saturday November 21, at Independence Coal's Red Cedar Surface Mine near Clothier. Independence Coal, a subsidiary of Richmond, Va.-based Massey Energy, operates the mine as Endurance Mining, according to federal Mine Safety and Health Administration records. Kevin Lee Lupardus, 41, of Mabscott, was operating the excavator when a "large section" of the highwall fell onto the machine's cab, said Terry Farley, an administrator with the state Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training.
And 60 more . . .