April 16, 2015 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH 0Comment

Ronald Lee MacKnight, 39, suffered fatal traumatic injuries on Monday, April 13, 2015 while working for Awnings and More Inc. in Farr West, Utah. The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

  • the incident happened “when a modular home [MacKnight] was helping to move fell on top of him”
  • the incident occurred “at the Westwood Village mobile home retirement community at 12:25 pm local time”

ABC4News reports:

  • MacKnight and a co-worker “had the home up on jacks” and they were underneath it.
  • “Either the jack failed or it came off of the jacks and it ended up coming down on top of him,” according to Lieutenant Lane Findlay of the Weber County Sheriff’s Department.
  • The Sheriff’s Office also told ABC4News “some of the other workers were related to Macknight.”
  • “The crew was from Awnings and More, a family owned and operated business from North Ogden that provides mobile home relocation and setup.”

KSL.COM reports:

  • ”The workers had transported the first part of the modular home to another location and were getting ready to move the second part.  …[the workers] were maneuvering jacks and securing the mobile home from underneath when the trailer shifted and crushed the man.”

MacKnight’s employer, Awnings and More, was cited in July 2013 by Utah OSHA for a serious safety violation. The company had failed to have proper fall protection for employees working on a steep roof. The company settled with Utah OSHA and paid a $750 penalty.

Each year, about 40 workers in Utah are fatally injured on-the-job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 37 work-related fatal injuries in Utah during 2013 (preliminary data, most recent available.) Nationwide, at least 4,405 workers suffered fatal traumatic injuries in 2013.

The AFL-CIO’s annual Death on the Job report notes:

  • Utah OSHA has 22 inspectors to cover more than 70,000 workplaces.
  • The average penalty for a serious workplace safety violation in Utah is $1,053.

Utah OSHA has until mid-October 2015 to issue any citations and penalties related to the incident that stole Ronald Lee MacKnight’s life. It’s likely they’ll determine that MacKnight’s death was preventable. It was no “accident.”

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