Volume No. 40
Work Related Fatalities Decrease in 2003
Safety and Health Achievement Recognition
CONN-OSHA Training Update
WORK RELATED FATALITIES
DECREASE IN 2003 TO 36
By: Erin Wilkins, Research Analyst
Work-related injuries cost 36 lives in
Connecticut in 2003, according to a report compiled by the Connecticut
Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, reflecting a
decrease of three from the previous year.
“As with national work-injury fatalities, transportation
accidents and violence claimed the most lives,” explained State Labor
Commissioner Shaun B. Cashman. “In Connecticut, 17 transportation incidents
represented 47 percent of the fatalities in 2003. Assaults and violent acts
accounted for 25 percent, which was an additional loss of nine lives.” Cashman
also stated that work injuries involving contact with objects or equipment
caused four fatalities (11%) and workplace falls also claimed four lives.
The Connecticut Department of Labor collects data annually on
workplace fatalities. This data is included in the U.S. Department of Labor,
Bureau of Labor Statistics’ census with a goal of identifying and solving safety
issues. Work-related fatal illnesses often occur years after an exposure has
occurred and are difficult to link to specific work conditions. Thus, they are
not reported in the census. Detailed information on Connecticut work-injury
fatalities is available in the following tables; data for 2003 include:
Men accounted for 34 of the work-injury fatalities.
By age, employees in the 35 to 44 year-old category
represented the largest number of deaths with ten work-injury fatalities
Fourteen of the work-injury fatalities occurred to
transportation and material mover workers. These 14 deaths accounted for 39%
of work-injury fatalities, the highest loss by occupation.
By industry sector, the trade, transportation, and
utilities sector, with ten fatalities, suffered the most work-injury
fatalities. It was followed by the construction sector with six fatalities
and the government sector with five fatalities.
Connecticut began recording work-related
deaths in 1992. Since then, the greatest loss was experienced in 1998 with 57
deaths, followed by 55 deaths in 2000. The year 2001 saw 41 fatalities, which
was followed by 39 fatalities in 2002 and lowered to 36 deaths in
Nationally, 5,559 people lost their
lives to work-injuries in 2003. Transportation accidents, at 42%, claimed the
most lives, which were followed by assaults and violent acts at 16%. The
construction sector recorded the highest number of fatal work injuries at 1,126;
24% of these deaths were to construction laborers. However, the most dangerous
industries were found in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sector
with a rate of 31.2 deaths per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers and mining sector with a rate of
26.9 deaths per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers. Industry sectors were classified with the
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
American work-injury fatalities reached
an annual high of 8,801 in 2001; the events of September 11th accounted for
2,886 of these deaths. In order to accurately compare work-injury fatalities,
and thereby identify unsafe working conditions, the deaths from September 11th
have not been included in annual comparisons.
For the past two years, the United
States maintained the lowest recorded work-injury fatality rate: 4.0 deaths per
Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers. Along with a reduction in the fatality rate, the 2003 total of
5,559 work-injury fatalities reflected a decrease of 1,073 from the 1994 high of
6,632. Despite the reduction of work-injury deaths, John Henshaw, the Assistant
Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, found the data sobering,
stating "We have said many times before that even one workplace fatality is one
too many, and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure workers are
safe through strong, fair and effective enforcement; outreach, education and
compliance assistance; and partnerships and cooperative programs."
Detailed information on the national
figures can be found at
PUBLIC WORKS CREW LEADER DIES
AFTER MASSIVE HEAD INJURY
Crew leader struck in head by dump body
Article by: Jeffrey Saltus,
Safety Compliance Officer
On Tuesday, October 3, 2000, four
members of a town public works department were engaged in a roadway patching
operation. The crew consisted of a foreman (victim – 51 year old male) and three
maintainers. The employees were involved in patching a section of roadway over a
recent storm drainage excavation.
At the time of the incident, one crew
member was in the cab of the dump truck, raising and lowering the dump body to
off load material. Two crew members were at the rear of the truck shoveling and
raking asphalt into the patch area as it was dumped from the truck. The victim
was also at the rear right side of the truck assisting with the raking of
material. The dump body was raised and asphalt was deposited in the patch area.
After sufficient asphalt was deposited the dump body was lowered. The truck was
moved to the other side of the road where it was parked. The driver heard a
hissing sound and decided to raise the dump body and exit the truck to check for
a possible mechanical problem. On checking the right side of the truck the
driver found the victim lying in the road next to the truck. Crew members called
for assistance, and attempted to render aid to the victim. Unfortunately, little
could be done due to the severity of the injury. EMS personnel arrived and
determined that the victim had expired at the scene.
During the investigation it was learned
that the truck involved had a double walled dump body. This allowed engine
exhaust to be directed into the dump body, thus providing some heat to help keep
the load of asphalt warm. Engine exhaust passed through a diverter mechanism
located on the right side of the truck, just behind the cab. A spring loaded
handle on top of the diverter operated this mechanism and caused engine exhaust
to pass into a vertical pipe leading to the underside of the dump body. This
pipe joined the flange on the underside of the dump body when the dump body was
in the down position. It was learned that the diverter mechanism had recently
been repaired. The spring on the operating handle had been replaced. On the day
of the accident, the crew working with the victim had made comments that the
asphalt did not seem warm enough to work properly.
The investigation concluded that the
victim apparently moved from the right rear of the truck to the right side of
the truck, unobserved by the rest of the crew. Transfer evidence on the victim’s
body, the shape and location of the fatal wound, and evidence found on the truck
indicated that he was probably leaning over to check the exhaust diverter
mechanism when the dump bed was lowered. He may have seen that it was not in the
proper position or may have been checking to make sure it was operating
correctly. The dump body lowered rapidly enough that the victim was pinned
between the dump body and the vertical pipe from the exhaust diverter, causing
the fatal injury. As part of the investigation, the truck was inspected and no
mechanical defects were found which would have contributed to the incident.
The constantly changing conditions
involved in roadway construction demand that all personnel be aware of
the positions of equipment and personnel. Knowing where everything and everyone
is moment to moment is one component of a safe work environment.
An alert, conscientious attitude and
observance of all known safe-operating practices (operator manuals, OSHA
standards, applicable ANSI standards, and safe work practices) are the best ways
to prevent accidents.
AND HEALTH ACHIEVEMENT RECOGNITION PROGRAM
In October, CONN-OSHA
hosted the 2nd annual Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP)
Luncheon. Approximately 80 people attended the event which took place at the
New England Laborers’ Training Academy in Pomfret, Connecticut. Hi-Tech
Profiles of Pawcatuck, Connecticut was honored as a first time recipient of the
SHARP award. Other Connecticut companies that received renewal awards include
Nutmeg Container of Putnam, Connecticut and Cooper-Atkins of Middlefield,
Included in the photo are
from left to right: Marthe B. Kent - OSHA Regional Administrator, Hi-Tech
Profiles, Raymond Quinlan - President, Timothy Douglas – Safety & Health
Coordinator and Lydia Teixeira – V.P. Finance, and Kenneth C. Tucker III
– Occupational Safety and Health Manager -CONN-OSHA.
CONN-OSHA TRAINING UPDATE
Breakfast Roundtable Discussion Group*
February 15, March 15, & April 19, 2005
(The third Tuesday of every month)
The intent of these free 90-minute
workshops is to discuss safety and health issues in a supportive and informal
environment. These meetings cover subjects ranging from evacuation plans and
fire extinguishers to air quality and ergonomics. The roundtable meetings are
held from 8:15 am to 9:45 am at the Division’s offices located at 38
Wolcott Hill Road, Wethersfield, CT. Pre-registration is required.
NOTE: The February 15, 2005
Discussion Group meeting will be held at the American Red Cross, Farmington,
CT. Representatives of the Red Cross will present a summary of resources
available to small business concerning health & safety. After the meeting, a
tour of the Blood Services area will be held.
February 3, 2005
When it’s time for maintenance, repairs
or retooling of a machine, simply turning the machine off or unplugging it
while it is being worked on does not give enough protection for workers. Many
serious accidents have happened when someone thought the machine or all of
the energy was safely turned off. The Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) has a standard for locking out and tagging out equipment.
It is known as 29 CFR 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.147, and it presents a minimum performance
standard for the control of hazardous energy.
OSHA 300 Recordkeeping
Training—What Does and Does Not Need to be Recorded*
March 3, 2005
The purpose of this workshop is to
introduce the requirements and procedures related to the OSHA 300 log. The
class will help develop skills to accurately report occupational injuries and
Work Zone Safety*
April 7, 2005
and maintaining roads can be dangerous. Each year about 7,500 highway
construction workers get hurt. More than 80 highway construction workers are
killed on the job. The dangers can be minimized if you are made more aware of
the hazards, and are provided with ways to avoid the hazards. Basic guidelines
for work zone traffic control and the requirements of Part VI of the Manual on
Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) with particular emphasis on short term
work sites on roads and streets in rural and small urban areas will be
*Classes are free
and will be held at 200 Folly Brook Blvd, Wethersfield, CT in Conference Room A
from 9 am to noon unless otherwise noted.
Pre-registration is required!
To register for any of these sessions, call Jackie
Maldonado at (860)263-6919, or send an e-mail to
For a complete listing of our upcoming
training sessions, please visit our web site at
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October 24, 2016