The Many Ways You Could Die

Did you know that your chances of dying of cancer peak at around 60 for women and 70 for men and then drop off rapidly? Or that your highest chance of dying of some kind of infection peaks around 40 for both sexes?
Here’s a graph of what’s likely to kill you by gender:





To view these charts interactively (You can click on any cause of death to get the exact mean average percentage) and to see a break down by nationality go to

No surprise, doctors have been telling us for years now, the most likely ways for both sexes to die is of diseases of the circulatory system (33% for women over the course of their life and 32% for men).

Murder # 1 Cause of Death for Women at Work

OSHA stats tell us that the number one cause of death in the workplace is slips, trips and falls. What it doesn’t tell us is that most of the people who make up this number are men and that if deaths are distinguished by sex, the story is very different. Turns out that the number one cause of death at work for women is actually murder (while car accident numbers are actually higher, I’m not counting them because women who die in car accidents are actually not technically at work yet or have already left work).

According to an article in the Washington PostThe murder threat for women is different. Both sexes die most often at the hands of robbers, and both also murdered at about the same rate by co-workers. But more than a third of women murdered at work are killed by boyfriends, spouses, exes or other relatives. For men, that category of killer is almost zero.


Read the complete story

Can Cinnamon Kill Your Child?

What kid doesn’t like cinnamon toast? Who doesn’t enjoy cinnamon rolls? Problem is that kids see cinnamon and start to associate it with the kind of foods they enjoy but cinnamon by itself can be fatal if inhaled. Watch the following video and, as soon as you’re done, go lock up the cinnamon.


Death on the Job

A new report published on the website gives a national and a state-by-state profile of worker safety and health. The 216 page report entitled “Death on the Job the Toll of Neglect” gives a ton of information and data.

dotj_cover_2015_mediumThere’s a lot of reading that gives a lot of numbers and statistics but once you get through that there are a number of very telling and interesting charts and graphs that tell the story better.

Then, look up your state to see where it ranks with other states.

Tool Tether would have prevented death

You’ve probably already heard about Gary Anderson who was killed last week by a tape measure that was dropped by a construction worker 50 floors up.

Gary Anderson had just stood up after talking with someone in a car when the tape measure ricocheted off a metal beam and struck him. He was not wearing his hard hat which was in the back seat of his car.

Gary was rushed to the hospital where he died as doctors tried to save him from his head injuries.

Gary’s death comes amidst a renewed interest in trying to mandate and regulate “objects at height”. Unfortunately there are no specific regulations concerning tools and other objects used when working at heights. The only pertinent section states: “All materials, equipment and tools, which are not in use while aloft, shall be secured against accidental displacement.” In this case, for example, the tape measure was in use.

There are tool lanyard, tethers and tool buckets designed to keep tools and equipment from slipping out of hands or off the edge of the work area but until OSHA makes it mandatory accidents like this are going to continue to happen.


One of Four Firefighters Injured during ALS Challenge dies

Tony Grider, one of four firefighters injured during an ALS ice bucket challenge in Campbellsville Kentucky this summer has died.

The four firefighters were helping the Campbellsville University marching band that had accepted the ice bucket challenge by hosing them down with a fire hose from a fire bucket when the bucket got too close to the power lines. The bucket never touched the power lines but the electricity arced injuring the firefighters; two of them seriously.

Tony Grider, 41 has been battling for his life since August. He lost that battle a couple of weeks ago.

The other firefighter who was seriously injured was Simon Quinn. Simon Quinn was recently released from the hospital.


Beware of digging in the sand

Adam Pye had just graduated college with a degree in business communication. On a well deserved break, he went with friends to the beach and together they decided to dig a tunnel in the sand. The tunnel was 10 feet deep.


That tunnel killed Adam when it collapsed on him. Friends were briefly able to hold his head clear but lost him when more of the sand collapsed further burying him.

Bystanders came to try to help dig him out., someone call 911 and emergency crews arrived 4 minutes later but, although by the time the EMT arrived, they had just gotten Adam’s head clear it was already too late. Adam was dead at the age of 26.

The point of this post is to let people know that digging holes at the beach (or anywhere else) can become a death trap if they are too deep. Fun as it is to have your kids dig at the beach, be aware of the fact that sand and dirt can collapse and end up burying them. Keep the holes shallow for safety.

Read about Adam’s story here. Read about another similar death here.

Inventor of Kevlar Dies

Stephanie Kwolek “accidentally” saved thousands of lives. While working in the Dupont lab trying to manufacture a synthetic fiber to replace steel in tires she noticed that one of the batches she’d been working on had turned milky. While this would normally mean that the batches would be thrown out and declared a failure, Stephanie’s curiosity got the best of her and, in studying the matter further, she realized that she had discovered poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide which Dupont would name “Kevlar”. Kevlar, the main component in bullet proof vests is much stronger than and much lighter than steel.

It is estimated that more than 3,000 police officers lives have been saved since the invention of Kevlar.

Stephanie Kwolek had worked for 15 years at Dupont without a promotion before her discovery. She was also one of a very few women scientists when she started working for Dupont  in the 60s.

Besides bullet-proof vests, Kevlar is used in bridges, gloves, skis, tires, planes and thousands of other items.

Stephanie Kwolek was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1996. She died yesterday at the age of 90.

Worker Crushed to Death by Rock Salt

We talk a lot about engulfment in the context of trenching but rarely look at the danger when it comes in the form of an above ground pile of materials. In this case, the worker was working on an excavator and was engulfed when a 100 foot high pile of rock salt collapsed on top of him. Rescue wasn’t able to get him out in time. Watch the Philly channel 3 news video: