A recent accident at a Holland, MI construction company site proved fatal for one worker.
When a crane tipped over at Holland Equipment Services/A and B Farms on Tuesday, November 1st, the man operating the crane was killed. Allegan County Sheriff’s Captain Chris Kuhn reported to local media outlets that there were no direct witnesses to the incident. Though they know that the victim was operating the crane at the time, how the crane tipped over is a mystery.
In 2013, there were an estimated 4,405 fatal work injuries. Conditions on construction sites can be particularly hazardous due to the nature of the work. Because cranes are typically the largest piece of equipment on industrial work sites, they cause the majority of construction injuries. Although crane accidents can be caused by poor weather and falling debris, most are attributed to human error. They can easily be prevented by following safety regulations like enforcing the proper operational capacity, choosing the right crane for a given job, or simply setting it up correctly.
Although the most recent statistics for crane-related fatalities are from 2006, this type of accident has been fairly prevalent in the news within the past few years. As of 10 years ago, a total of 72 fatal crane-related injuries occurred in one year. Of those 72 fatal accidents, 30 were caused by being struck by falling objects, while only nine were a result of being struck by a crane. The remaining fatalities occurred when an object being carried by the crane fell onto workers below.
In the decade between 1997 and 2006, over 800 workplace fatalities could be attributed to crane accidents. Construction workers tend to be the most prone to these types of accidents, but electricians and welders also have an increased risk.
That’s why it’s so important for employers to follow OSHA standards. Not only will they keep their workers safe and on the job, but it can also save them a lot of money. Reducing the number of accidents even by 10% can result in nearly $60,000 in annual savings. That can make a big difference for small, privately owned construction companies.
The victim has not been identified in this case, and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be conducting a separate investigation regarding the incident.