Several USW members have been injured or killed in recent workplace incidents:
Edmund Giasson of USW local 900 at New Page Corp. in Rumford, ME, died from a heart attack on July 28, 2008. Brother Giasson, 53, had worked at the paper mill “close to 30 years,” according to local president Gary Hemingway, and was known to be “very, very serious about his job.” He also had a history of heart problems.
On July 15, 2008, Peter Conley of USW local 449 in Waterville, Maine, suffered a massive stroke at the Huhtamaki plant where he worked.
After a protracted rescue effort, brother Conley, 44, was eventually transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he died July 23. He leaves three children ages 19, 12 and 5.
USW Emergency Response Team rep Hilary Chiz assisted the Conley family.
Shortly before midnight on July 18, Shawn Sharrow was injured when his arm and shoulder were caught in a winder at Dunn Paper in Port Huron, Michigan.
Brother Sharrow, 20, is the grandson of USW local 1017 president, Dan Fitzpatrick, and the son of Kim and Anthony Sharrow. He will be 21 on August 9.
Sharrow was airlifted to the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, where he was listed as critical but stable for four days. He suffered broken bones in his shoulder and back, cracked ribs, internal injuries and corneal abrasions in both eyes.
His mother, Kim Sharrow, said doctors at the University Medical Center called her son's survival a miracle, attributing it to his age and general good physical condition.
Brother Sharrow was released from University Medical Center and is back home in Port Huron.
USW Health, Safety and Environment assistant director Dave Ortlieb conducted the investigation on behalf of the international, and ERT representative Hilary Chiz assisted the family. District 2 assistant director Art Kroll also accompanied Ortlieb.
The USW's Health, Safety and Environment Department has investigated 37 workplace fatalities so far this year.