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Workplace injuries: California OSHA divulges cause of accident

In an Oct. 31 blog posting, a fatal California crane accident was covered ("Industrial accident kills California crane mechanic"). OSHA has released the identity of the 51-year-old man that died and they have also uncovered the reasons behind the accident. Workplace injuries like these can be difficult to prevent, but ensuring workers and the company adheres to required safety practices can greatly reduce them.

A spokesman for OSHA stated the accident appeared to be caused by a maintenance issue on the crane. The victim and another employee were working on a crane trolley when the accident happened. The trolley is a piece of equipment that requires routine maintenance because its wheels sometimes get off center. The two men were in the process of adjusting the trolley, but it rolled forward and pinned the worker between a guardrail and the trolley's bumper.

The crane trolley will not be used again until the maintenance work on it is finished and Cal-OSHA is requiring another inspection of the trolley before it can be used again. The OSHA investigation is still ongoing. They plan to determine whether the victim and the other worker received proper training before they operated the crane. They also plan to interview other port workers and inspect the crane's maintenance records. Doing such could help OSHA determine other factors that contributed to this fatal accident and hopefully prevent similar workplace injuries in the future.

Employees who don't receive necessary training or safety instructions could be more prone to California workplace injuries. As the OSHA investigation continues, more information about this accident will likely be disclosed. Such information could help the man's family better understand what happened to their loved one and assist them as they seek to receive their entitled benefits through the workers' compensation death benefits program.

Source: ABC 7, "Port of Oakland worker killed in crane accident ID'd," Oct. 25, 2012

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