Sunday, April 23, 2017

Charles Russell McFadden, 53, with W.E.L., Inc. died during a structure demolition project in Roanoke County, VA after the building collapsed on him

A local business is mourning the loss of an employee after a workplace accident Thursday.

A spokesperson for W.E.L., Inc. says Charles McFadden died during a structure demolition project in Bonsack. McFadden worked for the company for nine years.

The company says internal and external investigations are still on going.

Here is the press release:

It is with deep regret, and heavy hearts, that we confirm the passing of one of our most valued employees, and colleagues, Charles McFadden, due to an unfortunate, and tragic, industrial accident that occurred on April 20, 2017, during a structure demolition project, in Bonsack, VA.

Mr. McFadden was an employee of W.E.L., Inc. for nine (9) years, and will be deeply missed as a friend to all that worked with him.

Out thoughts, prayers, and support, are with his family, and friends during this difficult time, and we ask that all that knew Charles, to please do the same.

The internal, and external, investigations into this tragic accident are on going, and W.E.L., Inc., will continue to fully cooperate, and support all applicable agencies involved.


Worker for Concord firm dies in industrial accident

Rachel Mahoney
April 21, 2017

A worker for a Concord-based company died in an industrial accident during a structure demolition project Thursday in Roanoke County, company officials said.

Charles McFadden, 53, of Appomattox, was working for W.E.L. Incorporated on the project in Bonsack, according to a news release from the company.

He had worked for the company for nine years “and will be deeply missed as a friend to all that worked with him,” the company said.

Emergency responders were called to a report of a commercial structure collapse Thursday at about 11:15 a.m. in the area of Layman Road. Police and EMS from Botetourt and Roanoke counties went to the scene. Roanoke County Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Jennifer Conley Sexton said one person was taken to a hospital.

The company said there are ongoing internal and external investigations into the accident, and the company “will continue to fully cooperate, and support all applicable agencies involved.”

The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Occupational Safety and Health division is investigating the nature of the incident and whether any safety regulations had been violated, said Lee Willis, the department’s southwest region safety director. The company contacted the department Thursday afternoon.

W.E.L. was established in 1984 with offices in Roanoke, Winchester and Bluefield, West Virginia. It provides disaster and industrial services along with demolition services.

The Roanoke Times contributed.

Charles Russell McFadden dead at 53.  RIP

Planning a Demolition Project? Count On WEL Inc. to not kill our workers

WEL has successfully completed major demolition projects in the mid and south eastern states. As an environmental contractor, demolition of former processing and manufacturing plants has been a large portion of WEL services since its inception.

In contrast to demolition industry stereotypes of the past, today demolition is performed by highly skilled personnel with specialized equipment. We are stewards of the environment and go to great lengths preserving recyclable wastes during such projects. Detail to site conditions, orderly material segregation, dust and runoff control, not to mention total site safety, allows WEL to be your choice partner. Throughout the years, WEL has built an extremely strong reputation for the quality work that we do. Through our commitment, experience, and expertise, WEL has established a business relationship with our customers that will last a lifetime!

Our demolition crews are experienced professionals and realize the importance of safety. We may occasionally cause the death of a worker due to our haphazard operations, but he would eventually have died, anyway.

Demolition sites can present many dangerous conditions as surroundings change by the minute. Our crews are trained and certified in multiple disciplines, including but not limited to, HAZWOPER, OSHA 30 Hr., Asbestos Supervisor & Technician, CPR, First Aid, and specific task training. WEL operators are experts in the use of our fleet of heavy demolition equipment such as trackhoe mounted metal sheers, hammers, concrete crushers, tub grinders, mechanical screens, and many other material handlers.

Asbestos abatement is another service at WEL that goes "hand in hand" with demolition. As asbestos-containing material (ACM) ages, risk of exposure to airborne fibers increases. Most abandoned facilities and demolition projects will contain ACM and require abatement before other activities can begin. WEL is the qualified environmental services company for your asbestos removal needs. In most jurisdictions, asbestos surveys and/or abatement are law. We can provide your pre- and post-demolition inspections and certified and experienced abatement personnel, so make WEL your first call when planning your demolition projects.

Arturo Gonzalez of Marshall Pottery died after he was stuck in a piece of equipment, possibly a kiln

An autopsy has been ordered in the death of a 42-year-old Marshall Pottery supervisor who died on the job this week in what's being investigated as an industrial accident.

Funeral services for Arturo Gonzalez of Marshall were Friday.

Marshall Fire Chief Reggie Cooper said EMS units responded to Marshall Pottery to a report of a man who was stuck in a piece of equipment, possibly a kiln.

Cooper said the man was unresponsive and not breathing. He also was not entangled in any equipment.

Kelly Colvin, public information officer for Marshall Police Department, said the cause of death has not been determined but is being investigated as an industrial accident.

Marshall Pottery officials declined comment.

Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials did not return calls to confirm whether they are involved in the investigation.


With a vast array of traditional, ethnic, and contemporary pottery, the Marshall Pottery is the gardener’s ultimate resource! Enhance your Garden Center with pots and planters from one of the oldest Potteries in the nation.

Marshall Pottery specialized in hand turned pottery straight from the potter’s wheel. Skilled artisans turned the clay of East Texas for over one hundred years making beautiful, functional stoneware pottery. Each piece was truly a piece of art. Master Potters and Cobalt artist transformed lumps of clay into wonderfully designed pieces of heirloom quality stoneware

Marshall Pottery still maintains a strong presence in the pottery manufacturing arena today. With the construction of a new fully automated terra cotta manufacturing facility in 1998 promoted by Deroma Group, Marshall Pottery remains the largest manufacturer of red clay pots in the United States. With a commitment to quality and customer service, the processes are constantly being upgraded. The stoneware production remains much the same as it has been manufactured in the past with the exception of electricity turning the potter’s wheels instead of the potter’s kick. The traditions of manufacturing a MADE IN THE USA stoneware line of pottery continue as a strong force in the overall business plan today.

Juan Manuel Tapia Tequida, 30, with Willow Creek Companies killed by a steel natural gas pipe 12 inches in diameter and weighing 2,000 pounds; company cited by OSHA

Willow Creek Companies cited, fine sought after worker death

By Dennis Webb
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Garfield County, CO

 A Rifle company has been cited for an alleged safety violation and faces a possible $8,149 fine following a fatal accident at a pipeline construction site last October.

However, Willow Creek Companies is contesting the citation.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the company with what’s categorized as a serious violation in connection with the death of Grand Junction resident Juan Manuel Tapia Tequida, 30, who the Garfield County Coroner’s Office said also went by the name of Efrain Cortez.

Tapia Tequida died on the scene of a pipeline construction site in the Grass Mesa Road area south of Rifle Oct. 25. The coroner said at the time that initial reports indicated the construction worker was killed when he inadvertently loosened a board that 60-foot-long pipes were resting on and the pipes rolled and trapped him beneath them as he and the pipes went into a trench.

OSHA’s summary of the accident found that he was moving toward a side boom’s hook to attach a choker sling when he tripped over skids and dislodged a skid that was chocking steel pipes. OSHA said he was killed by a steel natural gas pipe 12 inches in diameter and weighing 2,000 pounds.

OSHA says Willow Creek Companies violated a regulation requiring that materials stored in tiers must be stacked, blocked or otherwise stored to keep them from sliding, falling or collapsing.

OSHA spokesman Juan Rodriguez said Willow Creek is contesting the citation before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

“At this stage of the proceedings, it is not appropriate for us to comment,” he said.

Willow Creek did not reply to requests for comment.

The company’s website says it does pipeline construction, well pad fabrication, tank battery work, directional boring, right of way reclamation and other oil and gas work, and operates in six states.

OSHA’s website shows that Willow Creek paid $4,000 in fines following an informal settlement process with the agency after being cited in 2013 for three alleged violations following a Rifle-area trench site inspection that was conducted as a result of a complaint. OSHA initially had sought $8,034 in fines.

The settlement included a $2,000 fine for violating a rule requiring protection of workers from cave-ins during excavations. OSHA categorized that violation as serious.

Willow Creek also was fined $1,000 for violating a requirement to protect employees from excavated or other materials or equipment that could fall or roll into excavations. It was fined another $1,000 for failing to conduct daily inspections of excavations to look for hazards such as possible cave-in conditions or the potential for protective systems to fail. 

Willow Creek was founded in October, 2005, with headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado. Willow Creek is primarily engaged in the construction, replacement and repair of natural gas pipelines, crude oil pipelines, storage facilities, and civil site work in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, New Mexico and Texas.

The Willow Creek management team has decades of successful experience in its core business and has established a strong culture dedicated to quality workmanship, safe work practices, accurate scheduling, and cost control. Willow Creek employees possess the knowledge, skills, attitude, and ability to maintain the high company standards reflected in our product quality and strong employee loyalty.

Willow Creek is a Preferred Contractor of choice for many companies, a fact reflected in our above average growth and high respect within our industry. Continued innovation in our construction practices, including custom designed equipment for critical applications, provide a superior level of service, economy, and product quality for our customers. Willow Creek continues to invest in state-of-the-art equipment and practices to better serve the industry. Our equipment fleet is systematically upgraded every three years, ensuring that cost effective, safe and reliable equipment is deployed on our projects. In addition, every employee operator is properly trained, tested, certified, and supervised on the equipment they operate.

A worker is in the hospital after falling off a NFL Draft stage at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Worker Falls 30 Feet From Roof of NFL Draft Stage at Art Museum.

The victim was working on the roof of the NFL Draft stage at the Philadelphia Museum of Art around 2:35 p.m. Saturday when he fell about 30 feet.  

The victim was working on the roof of the NFL Draft stage at the Philadelphia Museum of Art around 2:35 p.m. Saturday when he fell about 30 feet.

The 27-year-old man was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital where he is currently in stable condition.

The three-day event is being held in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The draft's first round begins on Thursday. It concludes on Saturday.

More than 200,000 people are expected to participate in activities at the NFL Draft Experience, which will include a museum, virtual reality games and a replica locker room.

Roof damage shuts down South Philadelphia fire house after two of the trusses are split

Roof damage shuts down South Philadelphia fire house.
A South Philadelphia fire house is closed after suffering structural damage.

The Action Cam captured a picture of what the roof looked like inside the fire station on 4th and Snyder Street that houses Engine 53 and Ladder 27.

Two of the trusses inside are split, so the city has shut it down.

Officials say it's simply too unsafe to have crews working out of it.

Neighbors who have now temporarily lost the stations services feel a little more unsafe.

Erme Maula of South Philadelphia said, "When we heard that, I was like I don't know how safe I feel."

Another resident Elaina Lioneli said, "It is a little scary we have children so God forbid something should happen, it'll take longer to get here."

Action News spoke with both Ray Vozzelli and Ed Marks of the Philadelphia Firefighters Union.

They say the eleven person crew and services at the fire house have been re-directed.

Engine 53 will operate out of 711 S. Broad Street.

And Ladder 27 will work out of 13th and Shunk.

Medic 43 is heading to 3rd and Washington.

Obviously they acknowledge response time will be longer now. But say residents here are still safe.

Ray Vozzelli of the Philadelphia Fire Fighters Union Trustee says "Response times are going to be increased, you just can't argue with it. The city is trying to provide adequate service to the residents of South Philadelphia but it's just an unfortunate incident."

They also say the plan is to fix the roof as soon as possible.

Ed Marks, VP Philadelphia Fire Fighters' Union says "I spoke to a city official today and he said first thing Monday morning the workers and engineers will be out here to assess the damage and expedite the repairs."

From the video you can see from the outside where the roof dips now.

We also got a written response from the Philadelphia Fire Department.

Part of their Statement reads:
"We are currently evaluating the timeline for repairs based on structural concerns. We are making accommodations to ensure residents safety."

Neighbors hope that timeline is made sooner rather than later.

"We hope to have them back soon," said Maula.

"Hopefully they get it fixed soon enough so they're back over here working we like them over there," added Lioneli.

The union isn't pointing any blame on anyone for the damage.