Hawaii Experiences Surge in Employee Accidents

The Hawaii State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) recently revealed that four fatalities and several serious injuries occurred during a 20 day period in May. The Hawaii Occupational Safety & Health Division (HIOSH) is investigating these accidents to help ensure that employers are providing a safe work environment to their employees and are complying with safety and health laws.

“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 Leonard Hoshijo. " While there’s no apparent connection between the accidents, all employers should examine conditions at their workplaces, safety policies, training and monitoring. Workers need to think safety, and avoid taking unsafe shortcuts to get a job done.”

The following serious work-related accidents occurred during a 22 period in May 2018:

  • May 2 (Hawaii): a heavy equipment boom holding a utility pole collapsed and the pole struck and killed a worker on the ground.
  • May 3 (Oahu): a worker died after falling out of a forklift that tipped over.
  • May 4 (Oahu): two workers suffered second and third degree burns from an electrical arc ash while conducting electrical testing activities.
  • May 4 (Oahu): a worker suffered brain injuries and internal bleeding after receiving an electrical shock and falling off a scaffold.
  • May 7 (Oahu): a worker was killed when a golf-type cart lurched forward into a wall.
  • May 8 (Oahu): two workers sustained serious injuries after falling off a platform that was being raised by a forklift.
  • May 18 (Kauai): a worker died while operating a riding mower that slid down a slope and over a retaining wall.