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State Reports Surge in Serious Work-Related Industrial Accidents

Posted on May 29, 2018 in Latest Department News

Increase Includes Fatalities, Amputations, Burns and Other Serious Injuries

HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced that four fatalities and several serious injuries occurred during a twenty-day period in May. The Hawaii Occupational Safety & Health Division (HIOSH) is investigating these accidents to help ensure that employers are providing a safe work environment to their employees and are complying with safety and health laws.

“This surge in serious industrial accidents is a harsh reminder for employers and workers to think about safety when taking any work actions,” said DLIR Director Leonard Hoshijo. “HIOSH provides consultation services that help employers identify hazards and improve safety and health programs. While there’s no apparent connection between the accidents, all employers should examine conditions at their workplaces, safety policies, training and monitoring. Workers need to think safety, and avoid taking unsafe shortcuts to get a job done.”

The following serious work-related accidents occurred during a twenty-day period in May 2018:

 May 2 (Hawaii): a heavy equipment boom holding a utility pole collapsed and the pole struck and killed a worker on the ground.
 May 3 (Oahu): a worker died after falling out of a forklift that tipped over.
 May 4 (Oahu): two workers suffered second and third degree burns from an electrical arc flash while conducting electrical testing activities.
 May 4 (Oahu): a worker suffered brain injuries and internal bleeding after receiving an electrical shock and falling off a scaffold.
 May 7 (Oahu): a worker was killed when a golf-type cart lurched forward into a wall.
 May 8 (Oahu): two workers sustained serious injuries after falling off a platform that was being raised by a forklift.
 May 18 (Kauai): a worker died while operating a riding mower that slid down a slope and over a retaining wall.
 May 18 (Oahu): a worker was electrically shocked while arc welding a pipe and suffered serious burns to his face and jaw.
 May 21 (Hawaii): a worker lost his leg and sustained other serious bodily injuries when he was struck and run over by a track type of excavator.

HIOSH’s Consultation & Training Branch offers employers hazard identification and assistance with occupational safety and health programs. This free service can also qualify employers for a one-year exemption from routine inspections. Call (808) 586-9100 for more information or to set up an appointment.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Program
Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
TDD/TTY Dial 711 then ask for (808) 586-8866

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Media Contact:
Bill Kunstman
Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
(808) 586-8845
[email protected]