It was a rough March for employers in Nebraska. OSHA received reports of four worker fatalities starting on March 9th, and it’s urging state employers to beef up safety programs.
OSHA’s Omaha Area Office is investigating four worker deaths in the Husker state and offering compliance assistance, tips and other information to help employers there.
The string of deaths started on March 9th when a 62-year-old worker fell more than 38 feet while installing a platform in preparation for work on a grain leg. The accident occurred at a construction site in Sutherland, NE.
The other three worker fatalities include:
- Jason Weston, 42, suffered fatal injuries caused by an auger as he drew grain from a bin on March 16th. The man was a superintendent at a grain handling site in Hayland, NE. OSHA said its history with the company, Cooperative Producers Inc., is extensive.
- John Hansen, 42, was struck and killed by a vehicle at a road construction site in Walthill, NE, on March 20th. He was a temporary employee for Labor Ready working as a flagger. The driver was jailed on a charge of driving under the influence of drugs, according to WOWT-NBC Omaha.
- Jimmy Spencer, 61, died in a trench collapse as he was installing residential sewer lines in Alliance, NE, on March 21st. Spencer was a plumber for Clau-Chin Construction, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. A 19-year-old worker was also injured.
So far, four workers have died in Nebraska this year. Last year, 12 workers died on the job in the state. OSHA has opened 41 investigations in Nebraska this year, and it has received reports of 32 worker hospitalizations.
Jeff Funke, OSHA’s area director in Omaha, said the agency’s new injury reporting reg has helped it identify and investigate these recent worker fatalities. Funke also said in a press release:
“With spring now upon us, construction and other seasonal work will soon be in full swing. Once again, workers will be exposed to some of the most frequently cited OSHA hazards, such as falls, struck-by and trenching – three of the hazards suspected in the most recent fatalities.”