The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Breaking News

Local News

April 29, 2014

Lives on the line

Workers killed on the job are remembered

MERCER COUNTY — “No one goes to work and expects to get killed, nor do they go to work and expect to see someone killed,” said Allan McDougall, a former coal miner who works full time to console and support such grieving families.

Yet that’s exactly what happened to two workers in Mercer County in the last year, both of whom were killed in trucking accidents and who were honored Monday in a ceremony in the rotunda of the Mercer County Courthouse.

Joseph Nogee was killed on the job at Lowe’s in Hermitage and Richard Beck died while at work for Estes Trucking in Shenango Township.

Sponsored by the Mercer County Central Labor Council, members of United Steelworkers, the Pennsylvania State Education Association and the carpenters and teamsters unions read the names of 42 workers killed statewide in the last year.

Accidents involving truck driving and tree trimming, chemical burns and falls claimed their lives, leaving families to deal with the aftermath and figure out how to move forward, McDougall said.

“In our union, across the county, there is a fatality every eight days and three critical injuries interspersed in there, too. Where do you go? There are some professional services for those in the military, and firefighters and police. But for blue collar and white collar workers, there is very little support,” McDougall said.

He travels the country, reaching out to victims’ families and colleagues, from the day of the accident through the next year, he said.

“Sometimes, the ‘family’ is the people we work with, day in and day out, year after year. You see them come in every day carrying a lunch bag and suddenly you see them leave in a body bag,” McDougall said.

As an international coordinator for the United Steelworkers emergency response team, McDougall said unions across the nation do much to support their colleagues. “A man in Indiana went to work one day and came home a paraplegic. We didn’t just go out and build a ramp. The carpenters union spent three months and remodeled his entire house to make things accessible for him.”

“In the beginning, everyone is there. Family, friends, neighbors and the company. But what about four months down the road when the benefits are cut off and the friends are busy? We’re still here, checking to see what we can do,” he said.

Locally, Anna Rickert, secretary for the labor council, organized what she hopes will become an annual event, remembering those lives lost. “We want people to be aware of how many people are killed on the job. And we’d like to stress to our politicians to keep OSHA laws intact. Without them, we’d be a third world country.”

Andy Harkulich, labor council president, stressed that the ceremony “isn’t a union thing. It’s a human thing.”

About 50 people attended Monday’s event, including county row officers, judges, local political candidates and various union groups.


Text Only
Local News
  • Better security Grant available to boost security in district courts

    County officials are looking to quickly upgrade security systems in the five district judge offices, not due to an increase in risk, but because current systems are antiquated and there is a short window to apply for some financial help with the costs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials split over selling older monitors

    What to do with a pile of older LCD computer monitors, keyboards and mice remains up in the air until the third, and often absent, county commissioner makes a decision.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police anxious to talk with victim

    Sharon police want to talk to a West Hill man about several other men who came to his house shortly before he was shot and critically wounded Tuesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • AED presentation Heart-friendly pool

    The Lackawannock-Shenango-West Middlesex Pool has some pretty obvious changes from when it was opened almost 46 years ago.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sharon man 'stable' after being shot in his West Hill home

    A Sharon man was in stable condition this morning after being shot by one of several men he had let into his West Hill home, police said.

    July 23, 2014

  • GJR killer not eligible for parole, court rules

    State Superior Court on Tuesday reversed a local judge’s decision that the sentence for one of two men who killed a night supervisor at George Junior Republic, Pine Township, was unconstitutional.

    July 23, 2014

  • Duplicated files, former worker confesses

    A Mercer woman accused of stealing customer lists, billing information and other data from her former employer headed off trial Monday by pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful duplication.

    July 23, 2014

  • Starved house Vandals vent their emotions

    Vandals kept police busy Sunday and Monday nights at a home in Greenville where the Mercer County District Attorney’s office said a boy was starved and beaten by his mom.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple, another man charged in thefts

    Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief against an East Palestine, Ohio, couple and another man in connection with two robberies in rural Mercer County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Taking stock Where’s the beef? Bull’s still missing

    Is it possible that an alien abduction took place in the Mercer area last week? A solid red, 2-year-old Watusi bull with 3-foot-long horns has been missing since July 14 with no trace of its existence left on earth.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buhl Day honorees

    The Buhl Day committee has chosen for this year’s celebration five honored guests whose volunteer work they feel best showcases the legacy of philanthropic work left behind by Frank and Julia Buhl a century ago.

    July 22, 2014

  • GC pair not hurt in accident injuring 2

    Two drivers were taken to a hospital after an accident at the intersection of state routes 965 and 173 in Worth Township, police said.

    July 21, 2014

  • WaterFire crowds WaterFire doused

    Sharon’s WaterFire wasn’t lacking either of its elements on Saturday. There was steady, day-long rain but the day concluded with the Shenango River ablaze.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Starved’ boy released from hospital

    A 7-year-old boy allegedly starved and beaten by his mother is out of the hospital and ordered out of his Greenville home by Mercer County Common Pleas President Judge Thomas R. Dobson.

    July 20, 2014

  • WaterFire walking tour Time traveling

    A group of more 50 people walked between the raindrops Saturday during an historical tour of downtown Sharon during the city’s WaterFire celebration.

    July 20, 2014 6 Photos 1 Story