Worker Killed by Common Workplace Hazard

May 17, 2018

Press Statement
Jeff Newton, Communications Coordinator
(617) 825-7233 x14
Worker Killed by Common Workplace Hazard
BOSTON          The death of Anthony Lyon who suffered fatal injuries May 1 after being struck by a piece of equipment at ITW Devcon in Danvers, MA is a tragic reminder that employers should ensure that no employee is required to work directly below a suspended load so that catastrophic events like this no longer take place, said the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health (MassCOSH) in a statement released today.

According to media reports, Lyon, 42, was working around a standard forklift being used to hoist and then lower a large 900-pound wheel. Lyon was working on the equipment when part of the object fell on him, causing catastrophic injuries. He was pronounced dead at Beverly Hospital after medical professionals were unable to resuscitate him.

There have been two other workplace fatalities in Massachusetts this year where a worker was struck by and fatally injured by an object. On April 30, a worker was killed in Marion when struck by a falling tree limb. On April 3, Joseph Teixeira was fatally injured when struck while moving a trench box with an excavator.

According to the 2018 MassCOSH report, Dying for Work in Massachusetts, there were six cases of fatal contact with objects or equipment on the job in 2017, the third most common cause of deadly injuries. A total of 74 workers died from workplace injuries that year, an 11-year high for the Commonwealth.

According to MassCOSH safety experts, to avoid similar workplace fatalities, employers should ensure that equipment, such as forklifts, are only used as the manufacturer designed the equipment to be used. Employers should ensure that each day before being used, the sling and all fastenings and attachments are inspected for damage or defects by a competent person designated by the employer. Damaged or defective slings should be immediately removed from service.
“We cannot allow losses like this to go unreported and unnoticed,” said MassCOSH Executive Director Jodi Sugerman-Brozan. “Attention must be paid every time a worker is hurt or killed on the job, or we will continue to lose men and women who are simply trying to make a living. Our thoughts are with Anthony’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.”

About MassCOSH
MassCOSH strives to ensure that all workers earn their living and return home alive and well. MassCOSH unites workers, unions and community groups with environmental and health activists, to end dangerous work conditions, to organize for safe, secure jobs, and to advocate for healthy communities. Through training, technical assistance and building community/labor alliances, MassCOSH mobilizes its members and develops leaders in the movement to end unsafe work conditions.