Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Fatal work-related accident under investigation

Pennsylvania employers must ensure the safety of their workers. This means following all work rules and health and safety standards, even when subcontracting employees.

One construction company is now under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for its potential responsibility with respect to two recent fatal occupational accidents. Both were crane accidents. One occurred in May when a worker was unloading a crane.

The other occurred more recently when two cranes operated from a barge in water was attempting to lift a 104,000 pound concrete girder. One of the cranes collapsed which resulted in the death in one employee. One of the crane operators was also seriously injured in the crane collapse accident, and it is unknown whether his injuries are life-threatening.

At this time, the reason for the crane collapse is unknown. Lingering questions that OSHA will want to consider as the investigation unfolds are:

  • Whether the crane was poorly maintained
  • Whether the crane was defective or in need of repair
  • Whether the cranes were lifting too much weight for their capabilities
  • Whether these employees were properly trained in crane safety standards

This particular construction company is no stranger to OSHA citations. In fact, it has received OSHA citations five times during the past three years, including a training violation, providing inadequate fall protection for an employee on an aerial life, failing to have a lifesaving skiff at a construction site over water.

The OSHA review is expected to take at least six month's time before the agency will issue any further citations to this company in connection with this man's wrongful death.

Source: the Northwestern, "Contractor under investigation for fatal crane collapse, site reopened to Highway 41 work," Adam Rodewald, Jessica Opoien, July 17, 2012

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Toll Free: 866-466-5789
Phone: 412-567-1232
Fax: 412-391-7453
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