Kauai News

7 Workplace Fatalities Reported Statewide

Posted December 29, 2021, 1:23 PM HST

An uptick in workplace fatalities statewide was reported by officials Wednesday, Dec. 29.

According to a press release from the Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, or DLIR, seven workplace fatalities, unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic, occurred this year to date. This is up from 2020 where two deaths were reported statewide.

One of the fatalities occurred on Kauaʻi on Dec. 13 when a worker died while operating machinery that rolled over.

The seven fatalities were among 23 major incidents statewide that occurred in the workplace to date in 2021. The number of major incidences is down from 2020 where 28 were reported.

“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 Anne Perreira-Eustaquio. “We are hopeful that by employers and workers keeping safety and health at the top of mind that the number of fatalities and serious workplace injuries will decline in 2022.”

According to the DLIR press release, many of the other unsafe incidences in 2021 resulted in amputations, bone fractures, dislocated shoulders and joints, and electrical burns among other injuries.

The Hawaiʻi Occupational Safety and Health Division, or HIOSH, investigates workplace injuries and illnesses to help ensure that employers are providing a safe work environment to their employees and are complying with safety and health laws.

HIOSH provides consultation services that help employers identify hazards and improve safety and health programs. All employers should examine conditions at their workplaces, safety policies, training and monitoring. Employers need to think safety, and avoid taking unsafe shortcuts to get a job done.

Other fatalities reported this year to date occurred on the following dates:

Jan. 8 (Oʻahu): worker struck by company vehicle.
March 15 (Maui): aviation worker fell off a high truck platform.
July 19 (Oʻahu): truck-mounted boom fell on a repair worker who died from injuries.
Aug. 13 (Oʻahu): pallet being unloaded from a container fell on a worker who died from injuries.
Aug. 30 (Maui): worker working on a public highway was struck by vehicle.
Dec. 8 (Hawaiʻi): worker was struck on head by company equipment.

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 or email at dlir.hiosh.ct@hawaii.gov for more information or to set up an appointment.

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