Collapsed Crane May Not Have Operated Safely

July 16, 2014

Although construction is a dangerous occupation, employers should strive to make the jobsite as safe as possible for their employees. Unfortunately, in the story below, one expert believes that workers’ were “playing with fire” that led to a recent crane accident.

According to Engineering News-Record (, investigators are looking into the cause of a collapsed crane in South Florida that killed a 27-year-old worker on June 12.

The lattice-boom truck crane was being used by DLS Prestressed Inc. to install piling for a two-story residential home. At the time of the collapse, the crane was being moved on the jobsite while the boom was raised and carrying a drill-rig attachment.

The Hallandale Beach Police say that during the course of the move, the crane began to sway, which caused it to topple over. Construction workers noticed the crane was unsteady and began to run away. However, one worker, 27-year-old Christopher J. Ricci, was struck by the boom and instantly killed.

Some believe that rain from the night before made the ground unstable, which caused the crane—that was on rubber tires—to become unsteady. The Occupational Safety & Hazards Administration (OSHA) is currently investigating the case and has not commented on the matter.

In an interview with, a crane accident expert said that moving a heavy load with a lattice-boom crane on rubber tires is very risky.

What Are the Common Causes of Death in Crane-Related Accidents? 

According to the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), in 2008 there were 58 deaths and 126 injuries in crane-related accidents. Causes of the accidents included:

  • Crane collapses in 39 percent of the cases
  • Contact with overhead power lines in 14 percent of the cases
  • Struck by a crane load in 14 percent of the cases
  • Struck by other parts of the crane in 11 percent of the cases
  • Other causes in 22 percent of the cases

Interestingly, like the lattice-boom crane in this story, 71 percent of all crane incidents involved mobile cranes.  


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