Widow Raises Questions After Husband Was Run Over at Work
A death on the job may lead to changes for postal workers in Minnesota.
It's been almost two months since long-time postal worker, Leo Brandt, was killed while at work. He was hit by a mail truck in the parking lot of the Brooklyn Center Post Office.
His widow wonders if his death was as preventable as it was tragic?
Loreese Brandt is going public with her private worries, "how did this happen, it shouldn't have happened, there's no way this should have happened."
Disbelief at the death of her husband, causing her to question if his life and others, were put at risk in this parking lot. It's where postal employees and trucks routinely crossed paths, "I think they have to take the time, the effort, the money to invest into that, to make it a safe environment for their employees, I don't believe they're doing that, they've been able to get away with that for a long time."
Brandt says her husband rode his motorcycle to work, parked on the left side and walked across the lot to the employee entrance to punch in for the day. It's the same area where postal trucks pick up and drop-off mail.
Witnesses told police in a newly released report from the Brooklyn Center Police Department, that the truck driver didn't see Leo as he backed-up to the dock, running Brandt over, crushing him to death.
Witnesses also told officers, the vehicles don't have warning sounds or display safety lights when mail trucks are put in reverse. Plus, two security cameras pointed at the loading dock weren't recording, so no images of the incident exist.
Federal OSHA investigators confirm an open and ongoing probe into the facility. They're looking at work practices, equipment and employee training.
Inspectors verify this is the first death on postal service property in recent years.
A manager at the Brooklyn Center facility told us since Brandt's death, the motorcycle parking area for workers has been moved from one side of the lot to the other, next to the door.
That's a start, according to Brandt's wife, "my husband is gone now, there's nothing I can do about that, but there's other people's lives who can be saved because of this."
The Department of Labor and Industry keeps track of workplace injuries. We looked at those records today. In 2010, there were 70 fatal injuries on the job. In 2011, the number went down by 10 to 60. The industries with the highest number of fatal accidents were farmers, fisherman, loggers and hunters. Most of the incidents were caused by contact with equipment or transportation.
Construction was the second-highest industry with work-related deaths. Men accounted for nearly all, 57 of the 60 fatalities in 2011.