Work Related Accidents: June 2009 Archives

June 23, 2009

Lighthouse Point, Florida Crane Accident Kills Coconut Creek Man

Despite the recent economic downturn, cranes can be seen dotting the South Florida horizon, especially in the downtown areas of Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade County.  This equipment has undoubtedly helped our society build higher and faster than at any other time in history.  However, this equipment also poses a real danger of construction site accidents and injuries due to crane failure and improper operation.  This danger of injury or death is present in various types of crane systems including mobile, truck and rail mounted cranes and overhead cranes.

Just recently, a Coconut Creek man was pinned beneath a crane after it collapsed while performing maintenance on a seawall.  The man was pulled from the twisted wreckage by his co-workers, but later died from his crane collapse injuries at North Broward Medical Center.  The accident is currently being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

According to the Sun-Sentinel, there have been 26 such crane accidents in the South Florida area since 1990.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 72 crane-related fatal occupational injuries in 2006 and an average of 78 crane-related fatalities from 2003-2005.  Florida had the second highest fatal occupational crane injuries in the nation with 27 deaths from 2003 to 2006.

When crane accidents cause injury or death from either the crane collapsing or objects falling from the crane, it is often a labor intensive process to determine liability.  Many times, a party other than the employer of the operator is responsible or at least partially responsible for the injuries caused by a crane accident--whether it be the manufacturer of the crane that failed to properly design, manufacture or warn against dangers of the crane, the owner of the crane that failed to properly maintain or inspect the crane, or any number of potentially liable parties.  Because so many various scenarios can occur on construction sites with crane accidents, if you have been injured in a crane accident, it is important to contact an attorney that is experienced in handling construction and crane accidents to ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.

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