In Boston, one worker has died and another suffered serious injuries when a crane fell at Suffolk University on Saturday morning. The crane was being used to inspect the roof of a seven-story dorm building when it tipped over, causing its 110-foot arm to crash into a building and barely miss a number of shoppers who were browsing books at the Brattle Book Shop’s outdoor display.
The two workers who were involved in the deadly Massachusetts work accident were in the crane’s basket when it fell onto a paved lot. They are James Williamson, who died from his work injuries, and Greg Johnson.
Occupational Health and Safety Administration officials, police, and firefighters were at the scene all day to examine the crane and determine determine what caused the accident. According to the Boston Fire Department’s spokesperson, the force of the fall bent the crane and caused it to split apart.
Hundreds of thousands of workers suffer serious, if not fatal injuries in crane accidents each year. OSHA cites causes of crane accidents to include:
• Improper assembly • Improper disassembly • Boom buckling • Failed rigging • Falls • Outrigger use • Improperly trained workers • Inadequate safety gear
• Improper safety procedures
Suffolk University says it contracted Tremco Inc to inspect several of its buildings’ roofs. Sheet Metal of Framingham and Reliable Roofing were subcontracted to do the work, and the latter had rented the crane equipment from Height 4 Hire. Last March, OSHA slapped Reliable Roofing with a $4,500 fine because the company neglected to provide workers with safety net systems, guardrail systems, and personal fall arrest systems at a Newburyport job site.
Workers injured at job sites do not have to prove that another party was at fault in order to receive Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits, which they are owed under state law. They do, however, have to prove liability by a third party in order to receive personal injury compensation. While workers’ compensation benefits do provide some relief, the injuries and losses sustained in a construction accident may incur expenses that far surpass the financial compensation your employer is required to provide. This is why it is important that you consider all of your legal options.
Crane accident in Downtown Crossing leaves two injured, Boston Herald, February 9, 2009
Crane falls down, killing worker, Boston.com, February 8, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Our Boston construction accident lawyers at Altman & Altman LLP can make sure that you receive the Massachusetts workers’ compensation and third party personal injury or wrongful death compensation that you are owed.