Canton, OH — A fatal industrial accident involving a large crane left two workers dead at the Timken Faircrest Steel Plant on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Brian Black was identified as one of the two workers who was killed when a large piece of a crane fell on top of them after a fatal accident.

According to a statement from Timken Company, the accident happened at about 12:45 p.m. when the two workers were working on a load that was to be lifted from the ground by the crane. An unknown accident occurred and the boom from the crane fell down and landed on Black and his co-worker, killing both instantly.

The accident is being investigated by OSHA and no details about how the crane boom fell have been released. Reportedly, a $260 million project at the steel plant was underway and the men were working on a new casting site at the time of the accident. Black and the second worker were employed by Beaver Excavating Company and the crane was being handled by a separate employee from both Beaver and Timken.

Scene of the Accident


Commentary:

An accident of this size will most certainly draw the attention of OSHA and other industry safety specialists. However, my concern is for the safety of that construction site and how the various companies are interacting with their subcontracted laborers. Have accidents like this happened before? Was this crane operator properly trained? Accidents like this are typically the result of unchecked, careless behavior. An investigation separate from OSHA’s is really needed because the OSHA investigation will likely be concerned with safety and industry regulations being violated. While this is very helpful, it’s not enough to prove any negligence contributed to the accident — and I would not be surprised to learn that the crane operator hadn’t been trained for his job, or that a lack of regard for safety standards played a major role in this accident.

More than likely, the workers’ compensation program for Ohio will handle this accident, which means that the claims will be largely administrative. Still, I think there’s clearly more to this accident than meets the eye.

— Grossman Law Offices

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