Winston, OR — On December 4, 2018, an industrial accident at a logging site just outside Winston took the life of 57-year-old worker Richard Allen Smith.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said the incident happened just before 9:30 a.m. when emergency dispatch received a call requesting medical assistance. Preliminary investigation suggests that Smith was working on a piece of industrial equipment; it is unclear what happened during this time that caused his fatal injury.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.

Douglas County officials continue to investigate the incident.

Map of the Area

Commentary

Industrial accidents like the one above often end up being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Some people believe OSHA’s investigations are meant to benefit those injured at work; while it’s true that the organization’s findings can be of some benefit to workers as evidence, more often than not the federal agency only seeks to punish workplaces that don’t follow federal safety regulations. Put a different way, OSHA’s purpose isn’t so much to help injured workers as it is to straighten out their employers.

I don’t mean to disparage the agency–what they do is important, or employers would have so little oversight that they could allow their employees to get hurt left and right with impunity. However, I try to explain to people that they shouldn’t invest too much faith in what OSHA does because it’s not really acting on their behalf. OSHA works for the government, not for hurt employees and their families. It’s something to keep in mind when deciding what steps need to be taken after an accident that robs a faithful worker of his livelihood, or even his life.

–Grossman Law Offices

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Recent Comments to the Blog

Jason is back to work and is now playing Sled Hockey and wheelchair rugby!! Jason is the strongest and most amazing man! He may nly have 1/2 a leg, but that is ALL he is lacking!! Thanks to prayer and GOD and awsome first responders and Baylor doctors. Jason's wife, Sheila
— Sheila
I'm a former employee. I had brought up this exact scenario and suggested a maintenance procedure that would eliminate the possibility of this type injury. Obviously my warning went unheeded.
— Tophat
I was actually a couple cars back from this wreck, one of the first on the scene, and helped administer CPR on the victims. The truck driver was going way too fast, but it was actually his trailer that swung around and hit the suv, the semi-truck ended in the median.
— Leif Burton
I appreciate how you've commentated on this tragedy--informative, with questions, but not hurtful. I live within 30 mins of this crash site, and I am appalled at the entire situation :(. I can't even begin to understand what could have happened to make this come to fruition, but I will be keeping up with it so I can learn what investigations bring to light about how something awful like this could happen. Rest in peace, Thomas, Carolyn and Carolyn...
— Summer
I am Anthony Siffords daughter. im 13 and i miss my dad i just wanted everyone to know that he is in a better place now and i would to thank everyone for the support. i miss my dad but it was amazing to see how many people had been toughed by my dad god bless thanks for everything...
— Hannah Sifford
I am Rodney Palmer's sister-inlaw. I am amazed and grateful for all the heartfelt wishes and support for our family... It is difficult indeed to put our thoughts into words, but we very much appreciate your kind and helpful words at a time when these things mean so much. Losing someone as special as Rodney has been tough, but knowing the he has touched so many people's lives keeps my sister's strengthens our family.
— Maureen
A lot of people say smack about lawyers, but I want to say that I'm glad there is a way that people who are wronged by corporate neglect can get justice and force change. We are living in a world where corporations and govt care less than ever about common people, and I support your work. I hope I will never need your services.
— Martin Onasis
My friend Michael was the one who got hit by this train. This is the ONLY article I can find on it!! How is that possible? It happened almost 5 days ago! Thank you for actually caring about us "no name" people. I hope when more information comes in you will post it as soon as you can. Thank you again!! God bless you
— Leslie
Tony was the step Grant father and it's been hard for the whole family but we know he is in a better place now. It's nice to know that people are rasing awareness with my grandfathers story. Thanks, family and friends of Tony Wray.
— Mercedes Stanley
Thank you for posting these accident articles on your site. At the company that I work for, e deal with monitoring construction activity and work around trenches and all sorts of construction equipment/vehicles. I sometimes wonder if construction companies have enough safety training to inform employees of how to protect themselves while on the job.
— Erik Hofmann
I'd like to thank you for giving my cousin's death some type of recognition and letting our family know he is not a lost cause. Thank you <3
— Victoria

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