There is no shortage of hazards that can kill you on a construction site, but you never think it is going to be a flying chunk of concrete. That is how laborers’ foreman Michael Hanson, 42, was fatally injured on Nov. 26, 2007, while working at the Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

A project foreman whose crew was using a rough-terrain forklift to pry loose a temporary concrete slab, Hanson stood in front of the fork tine extensions that had been slid under the slab. He was leaning over, assisting in prying material loose, when the slab snapped and sent a concrete projectile flying into his head. Hanson died the next evening; he never regained consciousness.

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  • “He was really respected by his workers, and he was out there trying to get the job done,” says Tommy White, secretary-treasurer of laborers’ union Local 872. “Everyone liked him.”

    Nevada’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the com-pany that employed Hanson, Taylor International Corp., Las Vegas, $6,300 for operating a forklift in an unsafe manner. It later reduced the fine to $3,870.

    Hanson’s mother, Judy Quillen, remembered how her son got started as a construction laborer. After graduating from high school in Fair Oaks, Calif, Hanson visited Quillen, who was living in Buhl, Idaho. “He needed a job, so a mentor taught him how to cut concrete,” she says. “He was always such a good worker.” In addition to his mother, Hanson is survived by a daughter, Hanna, who was 10 when he died.