Cemetery Worker Crushed To Death By Tombstone

02 Feb.,2023


Angel Headstone

Cemetery Worker Crushed To Death By Tombstone

Any heavy, movable object can be a crushed by hazard to workers, as this bizarre case involving a Texas cemetery shows.

Guadalupe Mendoza of San Juan, Texas, was killed when a five-foot tall tombstone weighing an estimated one to two tons (2,000 to 4,000 lbs.) fell on top of him.

A couple visiting the Hillcrest Cemetery in Edinburg, Texas, saw the stone topple onto Mendoza and called police.

The 64-year-old cemetery supervisor had been using a jack and wooden plank to level the stone when it fell onto his chest. Reports say the tombstone had been tilted to one side.

An autopsy shows he suffered major internal injuries and crushing chest trauma.

The death was reported to federal OSHA.

Other cemetery hazards for workers

In 2009, federal OSHA’s Atlanta-West Area Office issued a letter outlining the hazards to cemetery workers following broadcast news footage showing the procedures used for digging and preparing graves.

It’s no surprise that the focus of the letter was on trenching hazards, including the most cited OSHA standards for excavation work:

  • 1926.651: specific excavation requirements
  • 1926.652: requirements for protective systems in excavations, and
  • 1926.21: safety training in construction (“The employer shall instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury”).

Read Full Article At Safetynewsalert.com

Related Training DVDs:

Safety Orientation in Construction Environments DVD Program

Address two of the most prominent safety issues – good “safety attitude”, as well as “introductory” safety training. View Product

Excavations: Safe Work Essentials Training Video

Educates workers that every soil is different, no two excavations are the same, & more. View Product

Construction Series – General Office Safety Training DVD

An overview of your safety responsibilities to help you perform your job safely and efficiently. View Product