Friday, July 19, 2013

Oakland Port Shut Down After Longshore Worker’s Death

A tractor operator suffered a medical emergency and died after the vehicle she was driving crashed at the Port of Oakland on July 16. The incident led to her fellow longshore workers shutting down port operations for 24 hours.

Joy Daniels, 45, suffered the medical emergency at about 2:45 pm Tuesday at the Hanjin Shipping on Berth 55, according to International Longshore & Warehouse Union Local 10. The cause is still under investigation, but union officials say she suffered a seizure and heart attack.

As a result of the incident, ILWU members ceased all work at the port for 24 hours in solidarity with the deceased, as well as to conduct its own inquiry into what happened. Port terminals reopened the evening of July 17.

Daniels’ death is the third at the port in less than a year, and the second in just two months.

Operations were last shut down at the port on May 17 after a truck being driven by a longshore worker was knocked into the water by a piece of machinery. Longshoreman Manuel Stimpson, 78, of San Francisco had worked at the port for about 47 years when he was killed after the truck plunged into the San Francisco Bay.

According to ILWU representatives, Stimpson was working as a clerk and helping direct the placement of containers when the truck went into the water near Berth 30 at the TraPac terminal.

In October 2012, a mechanic performing maintenance on a crane died Oct. 24 after being caught and crushed by a piece of heavy equipment.

Prior to that, however, there hadn’t been an incident at the port resulting in a fatality in at least five years, according to the California Division of Occupational Safety & Health.