LANSING, MI – The 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th reported Michigan worker deaths of 2017 occurred in late July and early August.
The information below shares preliminary details about the most recent fatalities reported to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) which is believed to be covered by the MIOSH Act. The description reflects information provided to MIOSHA at the initial report of the incident and is not the result of the official MIOSHA investigation.
Preliminary summary of incident #15: On July 29, 2017, a 56-year-old grain elevator worker went into an area of the elevator in Caledonia to clean out some grain dust. The job normally takes 1-2 hours. The grain elevator closed at noon. One employee realized he had not seen the victim leave. That employee searched for the victim and found him in the area where he had been cleaning. The employee could only see the victims legs hanging down. That employee immediately contacted 911. The county sheriff’s department and EMS responded. The victim was deceased at that time from an apparent engulfment/asphyxiation.
Preliminary summary of incident #16: On July 28, 2017, at approximately 2:55 p.m., a 66-year-old roofer was engaged in roof installation and fell from an unguarded roof approximately 25’ to the ground below in Plymouth.
Preliminary summary of incident #17: On August 1, 2017, at approximately 3:19 p.m., a 45-year-old laborer was using ether to get a tire on a front-end loader, off of the metal retaining rim. The tire exploded off the rim. The metal retaining rim also blew off and struck the laborer in the neck, resulting in severe trauma to his neck. EMS was called immediately. EMS declared him deceased at the scene in Kalamazoo.
Preliminary summary of incident #18: On August 1, 2017, at approximately 3:30 p.m., two employees were on the second level of a facility demolishing a section of a floor when it collapsed. The employees fell approximately 15 feet to the next level, resulting in the fatality of a 38-year-old laborer. The second employee was injured and transported to the local hospital in Holland.
Preliminary summary of incident #19: On August 5, 2017, in Clare, at approximately 3:45 p.m., a 19-year-old farm hand was 20 feet on top of a grain bin attempting to knock grain down from the sides of the bin by using a long metal pole. The farm hand made contact with electrical lines that ran along the road next to the bin electrocuting him. MIOSHA received notice of the incident on August 9, 2017.
Preliminary summary of incident #20: On July 26, 2017, at approximately 11:15 a.m., in Fenton, a 56-year-old sole proprietor/roofer, who had hired an employee to help with a construction project, fell off of a roof. The hired employee then agreed to give the sole proprietor a ride home from the site. The sole proprietor and employee stopped at a store when the sole proprietor fell and struck his head in the parking lot. The employee took the sole proprietor to the hospital where he later died.
There were 43 MIOSHA-related deaths in 2016. 2009 saw the lowest number with 24. Every life is precious. MIOSHA’s mutual goal must be that every employee goes home at the end of their shift every day!
If you need help or assistance in ensuring your workplace is safe, MIOSHA provides resources to help. The Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division provides workplace safety and health training and consultations to employers and employees throughout Michigan free of charge. Contact CET today at 800-866-4674 or submit a request online.