News Feature | December 5, 2017

Worker Dies At Wastewater Plant In New York

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome
@sarmje

police line reg new

A worker died on the job at a wastewater treatment plant in Watertown, NY, on November 20.

“City Manager Sharon Addison identified the worker as Gregory Eliopoulos, a process worker with the wastewater treatment plant,” Watertown Daily Times reported.

“Jefferson County 911 dispatch received a call ... at the wastewater treatment plant located at 700 W.T. Field Drive. He was then taken by ambulance to Samaritan Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead,” the report said.

Eliopoulos, 54, had worked for the city wastewater plant since 2007, New York Upstate reported. Eliopoulos was born in Watertown.

Authorities called the circumstances surrounding Eliopoulos's death a "workplace accident," the Associated Press reported.

“Police detectives and wastewater treatment staff met with Public Employee Safety and Health (PESH) inspectors, who are assisting in the accident investigation. Municipalities call in PESH, the state version of Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to investigate circumstances like this,” the report said.

The details of what happened to Eliopoulos were not immediately clear.

This tragedy is a reminder of the dangerous conditions many water and wastewater workers face every day as they ensure water service for customers. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that on average, 13 workers die in the U.S. each day, per 2015 statistics.

For similar stories visit Water Online’s Labor Solutions Center.

Image credit: "Nori's Police Line," Sarah Marriage © 2007, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/