Not an “accident”: Henry William Gray, 56, suffers fatal work-related injury in Denver, IA

Henry William Gray, 56, suffered fatal traumatic injuries on Monday, May 2 while working at an excavation site in Denver, Iowa. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports:

  • The incident occurred at about 11:30 am.
  • "Crews were doing excavating work when a wall collapsed.”
  • The location is a “historic two-story brick commercial building…which has been under renovation the past couple of years.”

KWWL indicates:

  • "Snelling Construction was excavating a long foundation wall.   ….A portion of the foundation wall tipped over…”

Using OSHA’s on-line database, it does not appear that the Iowa State OSHA program has conducted any inspections involving Snelling Construction, at least since 2000.

The AFL-CIO’s 2016 Death on the Job report notes:

Iowa-OSHA has 19 inspectors to cover more than 80,000 workplaces. With that number of inspectors, it would take 163 years for Iowa-OSHA to inspect each workplace in the State just once.

  • The average penalty for a serious violation in Iowa is $997.
  • The median penalty amount for a work-related fatality occurring in Iowa is $3,000.

Iowa-OSHA has until early November 2016 to issue any citations and penalties related to the incident that stole the life of Henry William Gray. It’s likely Iowa-OSHA will determine that his death was preventable. It was no “accident.”


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