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Pacific Crane Maintenance Co. comments regarading employee’s death on the job

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on March 26, 2013 at 1:57 pm with No Comments »
March 26, 2013 1:57 pm

The company that employed a 57-year-old longshore maintenance worker who died Monday at the Port of Tacoma’s APM Terminal is commenting today on his death.

Pacific Crane Maintenance released the following statement:

“We were saddened to learn that one of our workers, a long-time ILWU member, passed away this morning as a result of what appears to be natural causes at a jobsite in Tacoma. The employee was found unconscious near his maintenance truck, and paramedics were called immediately, but were unable to revive him. Preliminary reports indicate that he was not involved in any sort of industrial accident or injury. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our employee’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

A medical examiner’s report said the worker, Dana Gorham, a member of the Longshore Union since 2010,  died of cardiac problems.  A post-mortem examination showed that he had an enlarged heart.

Pacific was the same company whose crane maintenance technician, Jeff Surber, died March 12 atop a container crane at the port’s Pierce County Terminal.

In both cases, longshore workers immediately halted work as is their custom when one of their fellow union members dies on the job.

Work resumed Tuesday at 8 a.m. at port terminals.

Investigations are ongoing by the union, the company and the state in both deaths.  A report is likely to be released on the first incident sometime in May, said the state Department of Labor and Industries.

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