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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Annual Fatality Information

Use the information in this table to build hazard awareness and prevent risk for similar occurrences in your workplace. This table shares preliminary details about many of the fatalities reported to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These descriptions reflect information provided to MIOSHA at the initial report of the incident and are not the result of the official MIOSHA investigation.

When available, MIFACE Summaries of MIOSHA Inspections will be included at the end of the description.

Fatality Number




Type of Injury


Location (City)

1. 02/13/20 Sawmill Laborer 59 Caught in or between

A 59-year-old sawmill laborer was putting salt onto a debarker conveyor to help prevent the belt from slipping. As he was placing salt onto the conveyor system, a rotating sprocket snagged his coat and entangled him.

2. 03/13/20 Mechanic 42 Struck by A 42-year-old mechanic was changing the oil in a car that was a manual transmission. Another mechanic started the car to cycle the oil and released the clutch, causing the car to jump forward striking and pinning the mechanic against a toolbox. Emergency services were called and he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Rochester Hills
3. 03/13/20 Volunteer Firefighter 23 Fall (same level) A 23-year-old volunteer firefighter was performing firefighting operations on a tri-level residence. During the structure fire, the firefighter partially fell through floor joists on the upper level of the residence. A “mayday” was issued from other firefighters inside the residence. An emergency response team was assembled and entered the residence to extract the fallen firefighter. He was evacuated from the scene and pronounced dead en-route to the hospital.    Gwinn
4. 03/18/20 Machine Operator 35 Caught in or between

A 35-year-old machine operator was loading and unloading parts into the cavity of a 200-ton horizontal hydraulic press used to form metal. He was positioned within the sensing field of the light curtains. The machine cycled and crushed the machine operator between the ram and the collet die.

5. 03/19/20 Shop Manager 38 Struck by A 38-year-old shop manager was working on a banding line trying to get a roll of coil steel straightened out when the arm retracted after the shop manager told someone to push a button. The shop manager was not able to get out of the way in time and was struck in the head by the arm. Emergency services were called and he was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Detroit
6. 01/23/20 Owner 66 Caught in or between A 66-year-old owner was performing maintenance underneath a raised fork truck. The fork truck came down from the support and the owner was found underneath the fork truck. First responders determined the owner died from blunt force trauma. Saginaw
7. 05/06/20 Ironworker 48 Fall (from elevation) A 48-year-old ironworker was performing bolt-ups while on the main rack and fell 25-feet to the ground below. East China
8. 06/04/20 Heavy Equipment Operator 38 Struck by A 38-year-old heavy equipment operator was run over by a piece of equipment he was operating. Midland
9. 07/15/20 Master Electrician 44 Shock A 44-year-old master electrician removed the cover from a 480-volt electrical panel to repaint the cover. As he was placing and securing caution tape in and around the electrical panel, the master electrician came in contact with exposed electrical conductors inside the panel and was electrocuted.  Brighton
10. 07/19/20 Maintenance Technician and Electrician 60 Shock A 60-year-old maintenance technician/electrician began replacing 480-VAC wiring powering a conveyor drive motor. The maintenance technician/electrician was working alone making a new connection in a junction box containing multiple energized wires. He contacted energized wires and was subsequently electrocuted. He was discovered by coworkers at approximately 11:45 a.m. who immediately called 911. The maintenance technician/electrician was pronounced dead on the scene. Warren
11. 07/20/20 Landscaper 40 Struck by A 40-year-old landscaper was cutting down an approximate 10-foot high tree stump. He had made cuts at the base; the stump fell in the wrong direction striking him. Holland
12. 03/06/20 Dryer Technician 53 Fall (from elevation) A 53-year-old dryer technician had been conducting cleaning activities, with the use of an air wand, on a catwalk approximately 23-feet above the ground. During the cleaning task, he fell through the catwalk’s guardrail system and sustained fatal injuries.  Sagola
13. 07/28/20 Forklift Mechanic 49 Struck against A 49-year-old forklift mechanic was found between the mast and the overhead guard on a forklift. Another employee moved the mast forward and the forklift mechanic slumped down. Other employees came to the area and helped lower him to the ground and began assessing his condition. Employees began resuscitation efforts until first responders arrived and took over. The forklift mechanic was pronounced deceased at the scene. Brighton
14. 08/19/20 Laborer 56 Caught in or between

A 56-year-old laborer was installing underground utilities when the excavation collapsed.

South Haven
15. 03/29/20 Patient Services Associate 64 Other On March 19, a 64-year-old patient services associate who was responsible for check-in/check-out of patients as they arrived for their scheduled appointments, left work feeling ill with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. She never returned to work and passed away on March 29, 2020. The death certificate lists the manner of death as natural due to COVID-19. Ann Arbor
16. 03/28/20 Bus Driver 51 Other On March 16, a 51-year-old bus driver was transporting the general public on a regular bus route while symptomatic. He called in sick the following day and never returned to the workplace. The bus driver was admitted to the hospital on March 22, tested positive for COVID-19 on March 28, 2020, and died the same day. Ann Arbor
17. 05/03/20 Custodian II 77 Other On March 16, a 77-year-old custodian was asymptomatic for COVID-19, his last day of work. On March 27, the custodian tested positive for the Coronavirus and was immediately hospitalized and placed on a ventilator.  He passed away at the hospital on May 3, 2020. Ann Arbor

There were 37 MIOSHA-related deaths in 2019. 2009 saw the lowest number with 24. 

If you need help or assistance in ensuring your workplace is safe, MIOSHA is here with resources to help.  The Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division provides workplace safety and health training and consultations to employers and employees throughout Michigan free of charge.  Contact CET today at 800-866-4674 or submit a request online at

Every life is precious. Our mutual goal must be that every employee goes home at the end of every shift unharmed.

Previous Year Fatality Information:

2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013