OSHA Cites Crane Service for Electrocution Incident

Feb. 14, 2024
An uncertified crane operator was electrocuted.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a crane service provider with five safety violations and $26,000 in penalties in the death of an employee in August 2023.

An OSHA investigation into the incident determined that Capt'n Hook's Crane Service, Melbourne, Florida, could have prevented the fatality. 

Investigators found that the crane service sent the uncertified 34-year-old crane operator to a residential construction project alone to lift and place metal frame roof trusses at a residential construction project. After positioning the crane on an unpaved driveway and extending the boom to complete the first lift, the operator was electrocuted when the steel wire rope and chain rigging, suspended from the crane boom, contacted two 13,200 v power lines next to the residential property.

Read also: How to develop a safety culture

OSHA cited the crane service for three serious violations for using an uncertified crane operator and operating a hydraulic crane within 20-feet of overhead powerlines. The employer also failed to ensure the crane was positioned on a stable foundation by utilizing adequate cribbing, materials meant to support the outriggers of the crane at a greater height.

The agency also cited the employer for two other-than-serious violations for not labeling and marking rigging equipment and failing to ensure warning labels on the hydraulic crane were legible.

"Fatal incidents in construction often occur because of the employer's failure to follow basic safety protocols and industry-standard regulations," said Erin Sanchez, OSHA area office director in Orlando, Florida .In this case, Capt'n Hook's Crane Service cut corners and made the conscious choice to send an uncertified crane operator to a job site. That decision led to this worker losing their life. Employers owe it to their employees to provide a safe working environment."

Source: OSHA

About the Author

Harlee Hewitt

Harlee is associate editor for Construction Equipment. She has a Bachelor's in English with a focus on technical writing.