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Crane owner fined for several safety violations causing fatality

Construction sites can be dangerous places to work. There are heavy machines, powerful tools and hazardous conditions that can put workers in danger every day. While there are several regulations and standards in place to prevent construction accidents, the reality is that negligence and careless behaviors can lead to devastating injuries on a job site.

Unfortunately, crane accidents on construction sites are becoming more and more common in New York. Across the state, workers and bystanders are being catastrophically injured or killed by defective, poorly maintained or carelessly operated cranes. The size and power of these construction vehicles means that the damage they can cause is often massive.

Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated a crane collapse that killed a New York construction worker and injured four others. The tragic accident was the result of negligence and unsafe practices on the job site, according to OSHA.

The man who was killed had been working near the crane when a rope on the crane snapped and dropped the heavy boom on top of him. According to investigations, the contracting company that owned the crane had failed to properly inspect the rope that is used to raise and lower the boom. The company was also negligent in allowing work to be done inside the crane's fall zone.

Had the company been more diligent in their safety procedures, it is likely that this accident could have been prevented. However, it took four men to be injured and one to be killed for the company to recognize their unsafe practices. For these jobsite violations, OSHA proposed that the crane company and the subcontractor be fined $75,000 for their negligence.

Source: New York Times, "Crane Operating Company Will Be Fined for Fatal Collapse," Matt Flegenheimer, Oct. 4, 2012

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