Many jobs are dangerous, but certain jobs pose more injury risks than others. According to a recent report from NBC 4 Southern California, a SoCal Edison worker recently suffered fatal injuries in a crane accident. The incident took place at around 4:00 p.m. in the Los Angeles area at a West Hollywood construction site. The fatally injured worker was transported to a nearby hospital by emergency medical responders, but he was pronounced dead upon arrival. An article in the Los Angeles Times also covered the story, detailing how the contractor was “crushed between a construction crane and a trailer.”
The accident occurred in an area heavy with construction, as it has seen a “redevelopment boom in recent years.” A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department described the incident as an “industrial accident.” Soon after the worker sustained these deadly injuries, representatives from the California division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“Cal/OSHA”) arrived at the scene to investigate.
Understanding Crane Accidents and Injuries
We often read about tragic crane accidents just like the one that occurred earlier this month. But how often do they actually happen? Is this one of the primary causes of serious and fatal construction accidents? According to a research report from the Center for Construction Research and Training and the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), between 1992 and 2006, 307 fatal crane accidents occurred. Through these accidents, 323 construction workers lost their lives, which averages to approximately 22 workers per year. The report identifies the different types of cranes involved in these crane-related fatalities:
- Mobile or truck cranes (216 deaths, or 71% of all fatal accidents);
- Tower cranes (16 deaths, or 5% of all deadly incidents);
- Floating or barge cranes (13 fatalities, or 4% of all reported fatal crane accidents); and
- Overhead cranes (12 deaths, or 4% of all deadly crane accidents).
There were 66 reported deaths that simply did not have enough detail for the researchers to determine the type of crane involved in the fatal accident. What kinds of injuries did construction workers sustain during these crane accidents? The report cites the following information:
- Electrocutions were the leading cause of death. In about half of those electrocutions, the crane boom or one of the crane cables made contact with an overhead power line.
- Crane collapses were responsible for the second highest number of deaths. Crane collapses resulted from many different things, including: unstable or slippery surfaces (20%), overloading the crane (16%), and the shifting of the crane load or boom (8%).
- Being struck by the boom or jib of the crane was the third-leading cause of death. About half of these incidents occurred when a workers was dismantling the crane. Another 12% happened when a construction worker was lengthening the crane.
Contact a San Diego Construction Accident Lawyer
Construction work can be very dangerous, and crane accidents often result in serious or fatal injuries. If someone you love got hurt at work, an experienced San Diego construction accident lawyer can discuss your options for seeking compensation. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to speak with an advocate.