April 13, 2016 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH 5Comment

Joshua Halphin, 25, suffered fatal traumatic injuries on Thursday, March 24 while working at a construction project in Springfield, MO. The News-Leader reported first:

  • [The victim] “…was off-loading supplies from a lift onto the fifth floor of the complex when he lost his balance and fell.”
  • The incident occurred at about 12:30 pm at the site of a new student apartments on E. St. Louis Street. The project developer is Aspen Heights.

Springfield, MO is the home of Missouri State University (MSU). The Aspen Springfield student housing complex will be the largest to-date for MSU students.

KY3 reports:

  • Joshua Halphin, 25, was employed by RF Barratt Enterprises LLC. “Bob Barratt told KY3 the 25-year-old had worked with him for about four months.”

KSPR reports:

  • “[A lawyer representing RF Barratt Enterprises] …says Sherwin-Williams workers were supposed to carry the 60-pound buckets of paint up to the fifth floor. But the paint deliverers asked for help, and construction workers used a forklift to carry more than a thousand pounds of paint up to the top floor of the apartment building. …Halphin was unloading the buckets of paint when the container holding the paint shifted and fell off the forklift. Halphin fell with it.”

OSHA on-line database suggests that RF Barratt has not been subject to an OSHA inspection, at least dating back to 2005.

Here’s a little about the worker safety and health system in the Show Me State. The AFL-CIO’s annual Death on the Job report notes:

  • Federal OSHA has 14 inspectors in Missouri to cover more than 150,000 workplaces. With that number of inspectors, it would take 133 years for OSHA to inspect each workplace in the State just once.
  • The average penalty for a serious violation in Missouri is $1,877.
  • The median penalty amount for a work-related fatality occurring in Missouri is $5,600.

Federal OSHA has until the end of September 2016 to issue any citations and penalties related to the incident that stole the life of Joshua Halphin. It’s likely OSHA will determine that his death was preventable. It was no “accident.”


5 thoughts on “Not an “accident”: Joshua Halphin, 25 suffers fatal work-related injury in Springfield, MO

  1. Robert Barrett is a slumlord. I worked for him for almost a year. He cares not 1 bit for safety . I hope he is fined heavily for this!!!

    1. Annette,
      I can feel the pain in your heart. Would you like me to add a photo of Joshua to this blog post?

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