Kavanaugh Testifies, While Workers Continue to Die

Jordan Barab

Jordan Barab Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor, OSHA

Firefighter dies after propane tank explodes in Tilford

Rapid City, SD — A local firefighter died Friday afternoon while fighting a structure fire and searching for an unaccounted for person during a blaze in the Tilford area. As the structure burned, the fire moved to a nearby propane tank, causing it to explode. A firefighter was killed in the explosion. Sturgis Fire Department was dispatched just after 4 p.m. to the small community of Tilford between Rapid City and Sturgis for a report of a structure fire. When firefighters arrived they found the structure fully involved and the fire was spreading to other outbuildings in the area. Crews continued to fight the blaze late Friday night. Bussell said one firefighter “died in the line of duty,” while fighting the blaze and a Meade County Sheriff’s Deputy was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. There is also one civilian who is unaccounted for at this time.

Missouri deputy killed after car washes off road

GREENE COUNTY, MO (KCTV) — A sheriff’s deputy from the Greene County Sheriff’s Department died late Friday evening after his patrol car was washed off the road. Deputy Aaron Paul Roberts has been identified as the deputy killed. Paul had cleared a 911 call in the 9500 block of Farm Road 2. While he was returning, he radioed that his car was washed off the road. Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott said Roberts was 35 years old.

Forklift operator killed in accident at NYC warehouse

New York, NY — Authorities say a 43-year-old man has died in a forklift accident inside a New York City warehouse. The New York Police Department says officers responded around 1 a.m. Thursday to a 911 call reporting an injury at The Chef’s Warehouse on Food Center Drive in the Bronx.  When officers arrived they found a forklift operator suffering from a severe head injury. He was taken to Lincoln Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Late Thursday night police identified the victim as Shakeem Farnum of Lafayette Avenue in the Bronx. Police say Farnum was operating a forklift when he leaned out of the vehicle and his head got wedged between the vehicle and a metal shelf.

Truck driver killed in crash

Yazoo County, MS — According to the Mississippi Highway Patrol, Kyle J. Poirier of Arnaudville, LA, was killed while driving an 18-wheeler Saturday morning. The wreck happened around 5:30 a.m. on I-55 near Big Black river in Yazoo County. Troopers said the driver of the 18-wheeler ran off the road, collided with a barrier cable and flipped over.

OSHA investigating Aug. 31 death at Bode work site

BODE, CA – A man died after the boom lift in which he was standing tipped over at a work site in Bode. Humboldt County Sheriff Dean Kruger said the accident happened while the boom lift was extended 50 feet off the ground. The accident was reported at NEW Cooperative in Bode on the afternoon of Aug. 31. According to Kruger, the man was standing on the platform of a telehandler. Another man was attempting to drive the boom while it was fully extended, Kruger reported. “The telehandler tipped over, causing fatal injuries,” Kruger said in a written statement.  OSHA is investigating Kern Construction, of West Bend.

Name released of truck driver killed in crash with train

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- Police have released the name of the truck driver killed in a crash with a train. It happened at the railroad crossing at Hogarth Street Wednesday. Eau Claire Police identified the driver Friday as Scott Swartz from Eau Claire. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Swartz was driving a truck that was contracted by the U.S. Postal Service through Mack Priority Transport. He was on his way to deliver mail and packages to more than 500 P.O. boxes south of Eau Claire when the crash happened.

Truck driver killed in head-on crash in Shelby Co.

SHELBY COUNTY, TX — One person is dead following a two-vehicle crash early Saturday morning near Teneha. The crash happened on US 59 at 1:40 a.m. south of Teneha. According to TPS, a semi-truck driven by 57-year-old David Forehand was traveling south on US 59 and swerved left to avoid a tree. Foreman’s truck collided head-on with a northbound semi-truck driven by 68-year-old Joseph Cargal. Cargal was pronounced dead at the scene.

Employees say taco truck co-worker killed by driver was being chased by robbers

MILWAUKEE, WI — Friends and family are mourning the tragic death of a taco truck employee fatally struck by a car after he got off work on Tuesday, Sept. 4. His co-workers say he was being chased by several suspects trying to rob him. Family has identified the victim as 35-year-old Mateo Cardenas. Co-workers of the victim say they are being extra cautious especially after last week’s string of taco truck robberies. Milwaukee police say just after 9 p.m., the victim came out between two parked cars and was struck. Cardenas died at the scene. His co-workers, however, believe he was being chased by people trying to rob him. They say he ran across the street to avoid them before being struck by an oncoming car.

Ashton construction worker, 27, dies after trench collapses

ASHTON, ID – A worker laying a pipe died Tuesday evening after the trench he was working in collapsed, burying him alive. A backhoe operator told OSHA investigators workers were digging a trench for Atchley Farms and 27-year-old Romero Martinez was in the trench attempting to put pipe connections together when it collapsed. The operator told police he moved the backhoe forward to dig the trench and was 15 feet away when he saw a 10-foot line of the trench had collapsed.

Gunman in Cincinnati bank shooting that killed 3 identified as 29-year-old Ohio man

Cincinnati, OH — Authorities have identified the gunman who allegedly killed three people and wounded two others at a bank in downtown Cincinnati as a 29-year-old man from Ohio. One victim was identified as 64-year-old Richard Newcomer, a superintendent with the Gilbane Building Company, a construction company based in Cincinnati. “He was a great employee,” Wes Cotter, the director of communications for the Gilbane Building Company told ABC News. “We are absolutely grief stricken.” Newcomer was doing work on the third floor of the building and “just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Cotter said.

66-year-old truck driver killed by falling pipe while unloading shipment

Bessemer, AL – A 66-year-old northern Jefferson County man was killed in an industrial accident in Bessemer. The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Rickey Pilkington. He lived in Morris. Pilkington, authorities said, was a truck driver. On Wednesday morning, he picked up a load of pipe from U.S. Pipe in Bessemer and delivered it to Vulcan Painters on Woodward Road, also in Bessemer. As Pilkington prepared to unload the shipment, the top row came crashing down on him. He was struck by the falling load, and pronounced dead on the scene at 8:57 a.m.

Rail worker’s body recovered after falling off Charenton bridge

St. Mary Parish, LA — The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office advises that the body of the missing rail worker, Joshua Crocram, age 26, of Zachary, Louisiana, has been recovered. The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office says…that the employee fell from the bridge at around 9:30 pm. Several agencies are assisting in the search including the Baldwin Fire Department, Franklin Fire Department, and U.S. Coast Guard.

COMPTON, CA — A tow truck driver was killed Wednesday morning in a hit-and-run while trying to help someone with a flat tire on the eastbound 91 Freeway. The crash was reported around midnight in the right lanes near Central Avenue in Carson, according to the California Highway Patrol. Investigator say the tow truck driver stopped to help a white Mercedes sedan with a flat tire along the right shoulder. A silver Honda Pilot drifted onto the shoulder and hit the man as he operated the controls on the tow truck. The impact killed him, leaving his body in the right lane until police arrived. He has not yet been identified and was described only as a male Hispanic.

Truck driver killed on I-39 near Rothschild while helping fix flat tire

ROTHSCHILD, WI – A truck hit and killed a person , Randal W. Landwehr, who was pulled over along Interstate 39 on Tuesday evening to help fix a flat tire on a camper, officials said. The crash happened at 7:12 p.m. on I-39 southbound lanes near Rothschild, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. A DOT news release said the driver of a Dodge Ram pickup had pulled over to fix a flat tire on a camper the truck was pulling. The tire was on the driver’s side. While the Ram driver was fixing the tire, a trucker driving a semi without a trailer stopped to help. The trucker was walking back to his semi for tools when another passing truck hit and killed him, according to the news release.

Worker killed in north Alabama tractor accident

Priceville, AL — A man was killed in a tractor accident in Morgan County on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. Coroner Jeff Chunn identified the victim as Bobby Lee Chaney, a 66-year-old from Somerville. Chaney, a private contractor, was working at a home on Thompson Road in Priceville when the tractor rolled over on him, Chunn said. The accident happened around 1:30 p.m. while Chaney was moving dirt.

Truck driver killed in U.S. 30 crash; road closed for 12 hours

Peters Township, TN — A 37-year-old Nashville, Tennessee man was killed when he lost control of the Freightliner he was driving along U.S. 30 in Peters Township Sunday morning, which overturned after it hit an embankment, spilling laundry detergent along the road.

Wildland firefighter, 20, dies after contracting deadly infection

Eugene, OR — A young wildland firefighter from Eugene has died after doing what he loved, fighting fires. His family said, though, it wasn’t on the fire lines. 20-year-old Eric Aarseth died after contracting a deadly infection. Eric Aarseth was sent to the Garner Complex Fire in southern Oregon and, most recently, the Horns Mountain Fire in northern Washington. His family said he returned home on Monday, last week, but the very next day the 20-year-old was found unconscious in his apartment. Very quickly, his family found out he had developed pneumonia that led to sepsis. Eric Aarseth had irreversible brain damage and would have no quality of life if he lived. Kim Knowlton, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council and Columbia University health professor, told USA Today in 2013 inhaling smoke, which “contains fine-particle air pollution” can cause serious issues such as asthma attacks and pneumonia.

Market Employee Killed in Fall

Spokane, WA — Michael Tuntland, an employee of Barney’s Sooper Markets in Spokane, Washington,  was coming down a ladder, missed a rung and fell. [Source: Washington Department of Labor and Industries]

Newburgh man trimming tree dies from electrocution

CORNWALL-ON-HUDSON, NY  – A Newburgh man died of electrocution while trimming a tree Monday morning on Maple Road, police said. John B. Nuzzolo, 39, was electrocuted when he came into contact with a live power line adjacent to the tree he was cutting about 9:17 a.m., according to a news release from Cornwall-on-Hudson police. Nuzzolo was sub-contracted by Simply Stump Grinding and Tree Removal Co. out of Newburgh to help with removing a large tree at 29 Maple Road, police said.

Chicago cop fatally shoots self in squad car

Chicago, IL — An on-duty Chicago police officer fatally shot himself Monday afternoon on the Near West Side. The 47-year-old officer, Steven Bechina, was found unresponsive inside his vehicle in the first block of North Desplaines, according to Chicago police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition and later pronounced dead, police said.

Truck driver killed in crash

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. – Pennsylvania State Police in Chambersburg are investigating the death of a truck driver.  They say the driver of a tractor trailer, crashed at 10 a.m. Sunday in the 18-thousand block of Lincoln Way in Franklin County.  No other details are available.

Logging truck driver killed in Highway 128 accident

Santa Rosa, CA — CHP officials are investigating an accident involving a logging truck on Highway 128 that killed a 55-year-old Fort Bragg man. The man, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of his family, was traveling east on the highway, east of Mountain House Road. His truck was fully loaded with logs. The man, who was found Friday morning on the roadway, had left the cab of his truck, CHP officials said. It’s unclear how and why he got out on his own, but he died at the crash site from his injuries, officials said.

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Reposted from Confined Space

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Human Service Workers at Persad Center Vote to Join the USW

From the USW

Workers at Persad Center, a human service organization that serves the LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS communities of the Pittsburgh area, voted last week to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

The unit of 24 workers, ranging from therapists and program coordinators to case managers and administrative staff, announced their union campaign as the Persad Staff Union last month and filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

“We care about our work and the communities we serve,” said Johanna Smith, Persad’s Development, Communications, and Events Associate. “We strongly believe this work and our connections to our clients will only improve now that we will be represented by a union.”

The Persad workers join the growing number of white-collar professionals organizing with the USW, especially in the Pittsburgh region. Their membership is also in line with the recent work the Steelworkers have been doing to engage LGBTQ+ members and improve contract language regarding issues that affect their lives.

“Workplaces are changing and evolving, and the labor movement is changing and evolving along with that,” said USW Vice President Fred Redmond, who oversees the union’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee as well as the USW Health Care Workers Council. “This campaign gives us an opportunity to diversify our great union while uplifting and empowering a group of workers who give their all for others.”

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work