Blair Cook didn’t want to get off the phone with her husband, 25-year-old Reginal Delorain Cook, when he called from his job at Barber Dairies in Homewood Thursday night. Eighth-grade sweethearts, Blair and Reginal couldn’t wait to grow up and get married and start a family. More than a decade later they were living the dream with a 5-year-old son and an 8-month-old.
“He was the best dad in the world. He loved me. He loved his kids. He loved his mom and his sisters and brothers,” Blair told AL.com.
He also loved his job at Barber Dairies, which he’d held for five years. But Thursday, June 25, at 5:11 p.m., Reginald told Blair he’d call her back shortly. He never did. Instead, her phone lit up with calls from his coworkers. Something tragic had happened. Cook was found by a coworker at 5:17 p.m. pinned between machinery.
“I dropped everything and went straight to Barber’s,” Blair said. “Nobody won’t tell us what happened. We just want to know.” Reginald was rushed to UAB Hospital and pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m.
There are still few details about the accident at Barber’s, the oldest active dairy business in Alabama.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 5,250 workers died on the job in 2018. On average, that’s more than 100 workers a week, or more than 14 deaths per day. Getting caught in-between machinery is one of the more common causes of fatalities among workers. And often, it is completely preventable.
Workplace injury lawyers
Beasley Allen handles a variety of cases related to workplace safety, including situations similar to this. While all workers should be guaranteed a safe working environment, all too often we handle cases of serious injuries and deaths resulting from a hazardous work environment. Many times our investigation reveals defective or dangerous machinery was involved, or employers failed to provide adequate protections or ignored safety regulations.