Fatal Waste Management Incident at TSMC Phoenix Campus Construction Site

by | May 17, 2024 | Catastrophic Injury, Construction Injury, Personal Injury, Work Injury, Workplace Accident, Workplace Injuries, Wrongful Death

A tragic inspection incident shattered the routine hustle and bustle of the Phoenix campus of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) leading to the untimely death of a contractor. The contractor was conducting an inspection when the routine job turned unexpectedly tragic. As one of the most significant semiconductor manufacturers globally, TSMC’s projects are often under intense scrutiny, making this incident not only a profound human tragedy but also a critical moment for reassessing industry standards and practices.

Below, the construction injury lawyers at Kherkher Garcia provide information regarding the tragic inspection incident. We will also explore the hazards of waste management and inspections and what employees and contractors can do to protect their rights if an incident occurs while working in waste management.

Details of the Fatal Inspection Incident at TSMC Construction Site

A tragic waste management incident occurred on Wednesday at the Phoenix campus of TSMC, resulting in the death of a waste disposal truck driver. The driver, identified as 41-year-old Cesar Anguiano-Guitron, succumbed to injuries sustained at the construction site. Details from the Phoenix police reveal that Mr. Anguiano-Guitron was in the process of transporting waste material away from the construction area using his tractor-trailer. The fatal incident occurred while he was inspecting equipment. During this waste inspection incident, a sudden release of pressure caused a blunt object to strike Mr. Anguiano-Guitron, propelling him over 20 feet from the trailer.

Mr. Anguiano-Guitron was a contractor, not a TSMC employee or a construction worker, the company clarified in a statement. The unfortunate event did not involve any other workers or staff at the site. The Phoenix Police Department is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the exact cause and circumstances of the accident. Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

TSMC, a leading name in the semiconductor industry, is currently expanding its presence in Phoenix with ongoing construction projects. The company has expressed condolences to Mr. Anguiano-Guitron’s family and stated that safety protocols are being reviewed to prevent future incidents.

What is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)?

Since 2021, TSMC, a global leader in advanced semiconductors, has been constructing a campus in Arizona. The Biden administration recently awarded TSMC a $6.6 billion grant under the CHIPS and Science Act to enhance U.S. chip-making capabilities. TSMC, traditionally dominant from its Taiwan base, is expanding globally due to chip shortages and geopolitical tensions with China. The company has announced new factories in Japan, Germany, and Arizona.

The Phoenix site will eventually host three factories, but construction has faced delays due to safety concerns from local unions and issues with bringing in Taiwanese workers. The first factory is slated to start production in 2025, with the second in 2028. This site is expected to generate 6,000 manufacturing and 20,000 construction jobs.

TSMC’s expansion has made Arizona a key hub for semiconductor investment, with over $100 billion announced since the CHIPS Act. However, progress has been slow, affecting related Taiwanese suppliers.

TSMC Incidents Highlight the Dangers of Waste Management

The fatal incident at TSMC highlights the dangers of waste management work, especially on construction sites. Waste management is a vital part many industries, and often involves trucks and heavy equipment. Incidents involving employees and contractors are not uncommon. It is important that anyone working in waste management be aware of the hazards and know what their legal rights are if an incident occurs.

Waste management work involves several hazards that can pose significant risks to workers. These hazards vary depending on the type of waste and the environment in which the work occurs. Some common hazards include:

Chemical Exposure:

  • Toxic Substances: Individuals may come into contact with hazardous chemicals, which can cause burns, respiratory issues, or long-term health problems.
  • Corrosive Materials: Exposure to acids, alkalis, and other corrosive substances can cause severe skin and eye injuries.

Physical Injuries:

  • Heavy Equipment: Handling heavy machinery and equipment can lead to crush injuries, amputations, or other severe physical injuries.
  • Sharp Objects: Individuals may encounter sharp objects like broken glass or metal shards that can cause cuts or puncture wounds.

Biological Hazards:

  • Pathogens: Waste often contains harmful bacteria, viruses, or fungi, which can lead to infections or illnesses.
  • Animal Waste: Contact with animal waste can transmit zoonotic diseases.

Ergonomic Hazards:

  • Repetitive Motion: Constantly inspecting, moving, and sorting waste can lead to repetitive strain injuries.
  • Heavy Lifting: Lifting heavy bags or containers can cause back injuries and musculoskeletal disorders.

Fire and Explosion Risks:

  • Flammable Materials: Waste may contain flammable or combustible materials, posing a fire or explosion risk.
  • Compressed Gases: Improper handling of containers with compressed gases can result in explosions or asphyxiation.

Environmental Hazards:

  • Weather Conditions: Individuals working outdoors are exposed to extreme weather conditions, which can cause heat stress, cold stress, or dehydration.
  • Noise: High levels of noise from machinery can lead to hearing loss or other auditory issues.


  • Radioactive Waste: In some cases, waste may contain radioactive materials, posing serious health risks including cancer.

Confined Spaces:

  • Limited Ventilation: Working in confined spaces with poor ventilation can lead to suffocation or exposure to toxic gases.
  • Restricted Movement: Limited space can increase the risk of injury due to slips, trips, and falls.

Psychological Stress:

  • High-Risk Environment: The dangerous nature of the job can lead to significant psychological stress and mental health issues.

What are Employee and Contractor Rights after a Waste Management Incident?

Workers and contractors injured during waste management work have specific rights, which can vary based on the jurisdiction and the terms of their employment. Generally, these rights include:

Employee Rights

Generally, employees of waste management or other companies involved in this work have the following rights:

Workers’ Compensation:

  • Medical Expenses: Coverage for medical treatment, hospital stays, and rehabilitation related to the injury.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for lost income during recovery, typically a percentage of the worker’s average weekly wage.
  • Permanent Disability Benefits: Payments for lasting impairments resulting from the injury.
  • Death Benefits: Benefits to the worker’s dependents if the injury results in death.

Safety and Health Protections:

  • OSHA Regulations: In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ensures safe working conditions. Workers have the right to a safe workplace and can request OSHA inspections if they believe there are unsafe conditions.
  • Right to Know: Workers have the right to be informed about the hazards associated with their work and to receive proper training on safety protocols.

Legal Rights:

  • Filing a Claim: Workers have the right to file a civil claim without fear of retaliation.
  • Legal Representation: Workers have the right to seek legal representation to help with their claim and to appeal denied claims.

Contractors’ Rights

Generally, contractors who work in waste management have the following rights:

Contractual Rights:

  • Terms of Contract: Contractors’ rights are often governed by the terms of their contract. This can include provisions for injury compensation and procedures for reporting injuries.
  • Liability Insurance: Contractors typically carry liability insurance that may cover medical expenses and lost income resulting from work-related injuries.

Workers’ Compensation (if applicable):

  • State-Specific Laws: In some jurisdictions, independent contractors may be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. This varies by state and the nature of the contracting work.

Safety and Health Protections:

  • OSHA Protections: In the U.S., contractors also have the right to a safe workplace under OSHA regulations and can report unsafe conditions without fear of retaliation.
  • Right to Know: Contractors must be informed about the hazards they might encounter and receive appropriate safety training.

General Rights

  • Right to Report: Workers and contractors can report unsafe working conditions to relevant authorities (like OSHA in the U.S.) without fear of retaliation.
  • Right to Medical Treatment: Immediate and appropriate medical treatment for any work-related injuries.
  • Right to Refuse Unsafe Work: In many jurisdictions, workers and contractors have the right to refuse work that they believe poses an imminent danger to their health or safety.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers have a responsibility to ensure that workplaces are safe and well maintained. They are also responsible for ensuring that anyone – employee or contractor – has the necessary information and tools to be safe. These responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining a Safe Work Environment: Employers must ensure that the workplace meets health and safety standards and provide necessary safety training and equipment.
  • Accident Reporting: Employers must report work-related injuries to the appropriate state or federal agencies.
  • Provision of Workers’ Compensation: Employers must provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

To mitigate hazards, waste management supervisors, employees, and contractors should provide and use personal protective equipment (PPE), ensure proper training, follow safety protocols, and employ engineering controls to minimize exposure to dangerous substances and situations. Regular safety audits and updated risk assessments are also crucial to maintaining a safe working environment.

Steps to Take if You are Injured in a Waste Management Incident

If you or a loved one are injured during waste inspection or other related work, there are some things you can do to protect your legal rights and wellbeing:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Obtain immediate medical treatment and ensure all injuries are documented.
  • Report the Injury: Notify the employer or contracting agency (if applicable) about the injury as soon as possible.
  • Document the Incident: Keep detailed records of the incident, including witness statements and any correspondence with the employer or contractor.
  • File a Claim: Submit a workers’ compensation claim (if applicable).
  • Seek Legal Advice: Consult with a lawyer specializing in construction site incidents understand and protect your rights.

Understanding these rights helps injured workers and contractors navigate the aftermath of an injury, ensuring they receive the necessary care and compensation.

Get Help after a Construction Injury or Wrongful Death

If your life has been turned upside down due to a waste management incident, Kherkher Garcia wants to help you recover. Our construction injury lawyers have a great deal of experience in personal injury, workplace injuries, and wrongful death cases. Whether you are injured, or have lost a loved one in a tragic incident, we can help you understand your legal rights. You may have options to pursue compensation for your losses, and we can help ensure that you obtain a fair and just result.

Get the help you need after a construction injury or loss by contacting us for a free consultation. You can call us at 713-333-1030, or submit our online contact form.

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Jesus Garcia

Jesus Garcia

Founding Partner and Trial Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Injury Trial Lawyer and Founding Firm Partner Jesus Garcia. Jesus has been a practicing injury lawyer for more than 20 years. He has won $150 Million+ in Settlements and Verdicts for his clients. He is a force of nature in the courtroom and the trial lawyer you want on your side if you or a loved one have been seriously injured at work or on the road. Abogado Jesus Garcia is bilingual and passionate about being the voice in the courtroom for the spanish speaking community here in Houston, across the state of Texas, and throughout the Nation.

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