Safety Today
Residential helper Felipe Lopez dies after fall from truck

HOUSTON  Waste Management Helper Felipe Lopez died on June 8 from injuries he sustained on May 27 while working on a residential route in Houston.

At 8:00 a.m. as part of a two-helper crew in the Todd Road district, Lopez serviced a cart, returned it to the curb, then stepped onto the rear riding step of a residential rear-end loader. The driver heard a noise as he proceeded to the next customer stop, and when he checked the mirror, he saw Lopez lying in the street.

Emergency personnel were called immediately to the scene and transported Lopez to a local hospital where he remained until he died. An investigation is continuing to determine how or why Lopez fell from the step. Witnesses reported that he may have fainted before his fall.

“Our preliminary investigation determined that speed and/or road surface were not an issue,” said Jeff Martin, vice president of safety services. “This is Waste  Management’s second employee fatality in two weeks, and we are truly saddened by Felipe’s death. As we head into our busy summer season, I remind all employees to stay aware of safety hazards. We want you to be able to return home each night to your family.”

PHOTO: Felipe Lopez had been a WM employee for three years.