State releases summary of most recent Prudhoe Bay workplace death

Adam J. Trujillo, 23, was the person who died in a workplace incident at Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay oil field this month, according to his father.

For the first time, the state this week also released a short summary of the construction activity that led to Trujillo’s death. State workplace regulators are investigating the incident and have not disclosed his name.

The operator of the Prudhoe Bay oilfield, Hilcorp, as well as Trujillo’s employer, Chosen Construction, last week acknowledged the fatal incident in media reports. The companies declined to disclose the victim’s name at that time.

Jim Trujillo said in a phone call this week that he’s heartbroken over the loss of his only child. He said he wanted to disclose his son’s name because many people around Alaska knew him.

Adam Trujillo was a graduate of Kenai Central High School and a basketball player there. During high school, Adam was also part of a youth trapshooting league that competed with schools from other communities in Alaska.

The Trujillo family is well-established in the Kenai area. For decades, they owned Ed’s Kasilof Seafoods in Kasilof and Soldotna, a seafood processor, Jim Trujillo said. The family sold the business about five years ago, and it’s now called Tanner’s Alaska Seafood.

Adam Trujillo’s death on June 5 was the second reported fatality in the North Slope oil industry in recent weeks, and the fourth in a little over a year.


The string of workplace deaths represents an unusually high number of fatalities in a relatively short period of time for oil field operations in the region, state and federal workplace safety records indicate.

Trujillo was involved in construction activity, according to a summary from the Alaska Labor Standards and Safety Division on Monday.

“An employee was caught in/between two pieces of an emissions stack being assembled with a crane,” the statement said.

He was fatally injured during lifting operations involving an emissions-stack assembly, the statement said.

“The victim died from wounds sustained ... when a section of the stack rolled and crushed the employee,” the statement said.

“EMTs responded and the employee was transported to the local medical clinic where the employee was declared deceased,” the statement said.

The statement recommended that companies take steps to prevent future accidents.

Companies should ensure that all loads are stable before any lifting equipment or material is adjusted, and that employees are not exposed to “falling objects and crushing hazards” when materials are being adjusted, the statement said.

Companies should ensure that workers involved in lifting operations “have a clear line of sight with the crane operator or otherwise have adequate means of communication.”

They should also ensure that only employees involved in a specific lifting activity are in the fall zone, while other employees involved in lifting operations are at a safe distance away.

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Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or