Another Worker Lost Forever

January 12, 2022

The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) is deeply saddened to learn that Kimberlee Francoeur, 30, of Lanesborough, died of injuries sustained on the job working for Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancock, Tuesday, January 5. 
According to media reports, Francoeur was working on a snowmobile as a snowmaker and was stopped on the mountain when a snow groomer operator backed into the vehicle, killing her.  
Although tragic events like this are most likely to occur at construction sites and loading docks, workers working around mobile equipment in any setting are at risk. It is extremely important that employers train their employees to be aware of the paths of moving vehicles, backing vehicles, and blind spots, and implement safe equipment operation practices. 
This is the second fatality to occur at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort. In 2009, Anne Steele died after a slip and fall on ice while working in a hospitality role at the business. 
The State of New York concludes that ski area employees have high injury rates and that snowmaking is especially high risk. To reduce injury rates, the New York State Department of Public Health created online resources for employers to keep their employees safe. Massachusetts ski mountain operators can also use the resources and they can be found here
“It is heartbreaking to start off the new year with a preventable worker death,” said MassCOSH executive director Jodi Sugerman-Brozan. “Working around large, mobile machines is very dangerous, and occupational fatality data backs that up. Employers should regularly train their employees on work zone safety and how to stay safe around machines that can so easily take a life."