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State releases summary of recent workplace death in Prudhoe Bay

State releases summary of recent workplace death in Prudhoe Bay

Adam J. Trujillo, 23, died this month in a workplace accident at the Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska, according to his father.

This week, for the first time, state officials also released a brief summary of the construction work that led to Trujillo’s death. State workplace regulators are investigating the incident and have not released his name.

Prudhoe Bay oilfield operator Hilcorp and Trujillo’s employer, Chosen Construction, confirmed the deadly incident in media reports last week. The companies declined to reveal the victim’s name at the time.

This week, Jim Trujillo said in a telephone interview that he was devastated by the loss of his only child. He said he wanted to reveal his son’s name because many people in Alaska know him.

Adam Trujillo was a graduate of Kenai Central High School and a basketball player there. In high school, Adam also participated in a youth shooting league that competed with schools from other communities in Alaska.

The Trujillo family is well established in the Kenai area. For decades, they owned Ed’s Kasilof Seafoods in Kasilof and Soldotna, a seafood processor, Jim Trujillo said. The family sold the business about five years ago and it is now called Tanner’s Alaska Seafood.

The June 5 death of Adam Trujillo is the second reported fatality in the North Slope oil industry in recent weeks and the fourth in just over a year.

The series of workplace deaths represents an unusually high number of fatalities in a relatively short period of time for oilfield operations in the region, state and federal workplace safety data show.

Trujillo was involved in construction work, according to a Monday summary from the Alaska Division of Labor and Safety Standards.

“The employee was trapped between two elements of a chimney installed with a crane,” the statement reads.

The statement said he was fatally injured during lifting operations involving the stack assembly.

“The victim died from his injuries… when part of the stack rolled and crushed the employee,” the statement read.

“Emergency services arrived on scene and the employee was transported to a local medical clinic, where he was pronounced dead,” the statement read.

The statement advised companies to take steps to prevent future accidents.

Companies should ensure all loads are stable before adjusting any lifting equipment or material and that workers are not exposed to “falling objects and crushing hazards” when adjusting materials, the statement said.

Companies should ensure that workers involved in lifting operations “have a clear line of sight with the crane operator or otherwise have appropriate means of communication.”

They should also ensure that only workers engaged in the specific lifting activity are in the fall zone and that other workers engaged in lifting operations are kept at a safe distance.

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