This week, two individuals were discovered dead at a Northrup Grumman facility in Utah, with minimal information being released about the incident. Utah TV station KUTV-TV reports the victims were “killed,” but gave no evidence to back up the claim.
Roxanne Vainuku, a representative from the West Valley City Police Department, mentioned that shortly after 6pm on Monday, police were dispatched to the company’s building located at 6478 W. 5400 South, in Magna, approximately twelve miles west of Salt Lake City. Vainuku also stated two employees were found unconscious but did not elaborate on any other specifics, according to KSL-TV, other than that the “victims” received medical attention by fire department crews before being taken to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
“Fire Department crews attempted life saving measures and transported the two employees to the hospital where they were ultimately pronounced deceased,” Vainuku said.
“The Occupational Health and Safety Administration will conduct an investigation into this incident. West Valley City Police will coordinate with OSHA on the investigation,” she added.
Police couldn’t confirm if the two died in a hazmat situation, saying that information will come from the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office after autopsies are performed. The victims have not been identified.
A Newsweek article stated that a Northrop Grumman representative was not forthcoming with information.
“We can confirm that two employees passed away at the Bacchus facility on January 30. We are deeply saddened by this news,” the representative said.
“The Northrop Grumman team all shares in this grief. Out of respect for the privacy of the employees and the families, we are not releasing any further details,” the representative said
The company’s statement provided little information regarding the events that occurred.
“Family members have been notified, and we will be working with our employee assistance program for support and family services,” the statement said.
“Our employees are our most valued part of our business and this is a tragedy that affects our entire workforce,” the statement said.
Eric Olsen, from Utah Occupational Safety and Health, informed KUTV-TV that the inquiry into the incident will only cover some elements.
“It is important to note that we do not investigate the accident or fatality itself but rather, we investigate whether there were any violations of adopted safety and health standards. If violations are found then citations may follow. Timing on investigations varies but by statute we have up to 180 days to complete an investigation,” he said.
Olsen stated that he was unable to provide any commentary on the particular situation.
Northrup Grumman is a leading defense and aerospace contractor with 90,000 employees nationwide. They are currently the prime contractor on the B-21 bomber, an advanced long-range, stealth bomber that has been widely heralded as the Air Force’s next generation of bombers. The B-21 bomber promises to be a powerful asset to the Air Force and is an example of the cutting-edge technology Northrup Grumman is developing.
Over the course of the past several years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has revealed a disconcerting trend of increased deaths in the workplace. These sobering statistics indicate that workplace fatalities are on the rise, a fact that has dire implications for the safety and well-being of individuals in their places of employment.
On December 16, 2022, the bureau issued a press release outlining the statistics from 2021 and highlighting the trends that had been observed.
“There were 5,190 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2021, an 8.9 percent increase from 4,764 in 2020,” the press release read.
“The fatal work injury rate was 3.6 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, up from 3.4 per 100,000 FTE in 2020 and up from the 2019 pre-pandemic rate of 3.5.
“The 3.6 fatal occupational injury rate in 2021 represents the highest annual rate since 2016. A worker died every 101 minutes from a work-related injury in 2021.”
The press release continued: “Suicides continued to trend down, decreasing to 236 in 2021 from 259 in 2020, an 8.9-percent decrease. Workers in transportation and material moving occupations experienced a series high of 1,523 fatal work injuries in 2021 and represent the occupational group with the highest number of fatalities.
“This is an increase of 18.8 percent from 2020.Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event in 2021 with 1,982 fatal injuries, an increase of 11.5 percent from 2020.
“This major category accounted for 38.2 percent of all work-related fatalities for 2021.”