A Workers Memorial Day ceremony in Des Moines this week recognized 46 people who were killed in workplace accidents in 2009. Nicole Bordwell sat in the front row with her two daughters and other family members. Bordwell’s husband, Daniel, was killed by electrocution last September while working in an Iowa Select Farms facility in Belmond. (See video below)
Nicole says the accident could’ve easily been prevented if a power breaker would’ve been shut down before Daniel started operating a power washer. “But, there is no Iowa state law that states they have to shut off the power breaker before power washing any building,” Nicole said.
She notes that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has since ordered Iowa Select Farms to shut off the power breaker before power washing.
Daniel Bordwell was 30-years-old. His daughters, Joslyn and Olivia, are 5 and 2 respectively. After the accident, Nicole and the girls moved to Webster City. Nicole plans to contact state lawmakers about improving workplaces safety.
“I want to see about trying to maybe get a state law passed where inside any big or small hog facility they have to shut off the power breaker before they power wash,” Bordwell said. “I think it would prevent accidents and deaths.” Nothing can bring her husband back, but Nicole hopes workers will report possible problems in the workplaces to prevent similar tragedies.
“(Accidents) can be prevented and stopped by buildings getting inspected,” Nicole said. Three years ago, lawmakers approved legislation to increase the number of OSHA inspectors in the state. Iowa Labor Commissioner David Neil believes the change has made a difference.
Last year, 15 of the people killed in workplace accidents in Iowa were on an OSHA covered site. That compares to 29 deaths on OSHA sites in 2008.