Crane accidents often result in life-threatening injuries for workers
At least six people have died in Florida crane accidents in recent years
Construction is one of the most dangerous industries anybody can work in, with crane accidents often proving particularly deadly. An accident last year in Hallandale Beach, which killed one worker, shows that Floridians are hardly immune from the dangers posed by crane accidents. In fact, according to the Sun-Sentinel, in recent years at least half a dozen workers have died in Florida in crane-related accidents. Furthermore, statistics show that the risk of death or serious injury is much higher in crane accidents than in other construction-related mishaps.
The Hallandale Beach accident occurred last June when workers were attempting to move a construction crane at a work site. Witnesses say that as the crane was moving it began to shake and soon fell over. A number of construction workers managed to escape in time, but unfortunately one laborer was struck in the head by the boom and died instantly.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) was investigating the accident and both the crane driver and the boom operator voluntarily provided blood samples for the investigation. Witnesses at the scene also said that the crane did not seem secure and that the ground appeared to be wet. At the time, OSHA said that at least six people had died in crane accidents in Florida since January 2011.
Unfortunately, such accidents are hardly unusual. The Crane Inspection and Certification Bureau says that in recent years injuries related to crane accidents have been rising across the United States. Furthermore, when accidents do happen, they have a much higher likelihood of resulting in death, especially for laborers. In 2009, for example, about half of all serious crane accidents led to at least one death.
By far, the biggest cause of crane accidents is human error, which contributes to 90 percent of such accidents, and about 80 percent of accidents are caused by cranes carrying too much weight. The prevalence of human error in crane accidents is often a sign of employees being improperly trained in safety and proper crane operation. Nationwide, crane accidents take a heavy toll, killing an average of 80 construction workers each year.
Employers have a duty to make sure their workers are properly trained in how to safely use and work around heavy equipment, such as cranes. Unfortunately, for many companies it takes a serious accident for them to finally take worker safety seriously.
Workers who have been injured in a crane or other type of construction accident in Florida should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. Workers compensation and other potential claims may be able to help cover the large expenses caused by such accidents, but often an experienced attorney is needed to help deal with the complicated claims process.