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Crane Malfunction Takes Life of Construction Worker

DMontae Jones2 years ago

A malfunctioning crane leads to the death of a construction-company boss at a Manhattan work site last month.

About the Crane Collapse

According to the New York Post, Trevor Loftus, owner of Kerny Contracting Inc. of Yonkers, was found pinned against a flatbed at about 11:44 a.m. on April 26 at 219 E. 44th Street. The construction-company owner was working at the site of the soon-to-be 35-story Even Hotel, developed by Raber Enterprises. Reports claim that Loftus was investigating a leaky hydraulic system on the crane when the incident occurred.

As he checked the system, the hose burst, causing the arm of the crane to collapse and pin Loftus between the knuckle boom and flatbed. When firefighters arrived to assist, they were able to release Loftus from the crane’s grip using jacks; however, the damage was too severe and Loftus was pronounced dead on the scene. Devastated employees of Loftus told officials that he was a loving husband and father who emigrated from Ireland 15 years ago. 

Federal investigators; however, found that Kerny Contracting Inc. did not have the cleanest record. According to investigators, the Department of Buildings issued two partial stop work orders for the contracting company after several complaints were received about the Midtown construction site.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the company’s several violations at the Manhattan and Brooklyn worksites lead to over $24,000 in fines. The company also faced two law suits, one of which alleged that the company preformed an “unsatisfactory, unworkmanlike, and unacceptable” job. Kerry Contracting Inc. declined to comment.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Statistics

The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) was established by the Department of Labor in 1971. Its mission is to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” According to OSHA:

  • In 2013, 4,585 workers were killed on the job – averaging 12 deaths every day.
  • 817 Hispanic or Latino workers died as a result of work-related injuries in 2013.
  • Contractor-involved fatal work related injuries made up 16% of all fatal work injuries in 2013.
  • In 2013, out of 4,101 worker fatalities, 36.5% were related to falls, 10.1% were related to being struck by an object, 8.6% were related to electrocutions, and 2.5% were related to being caught-in or between objects.
  • Falls, Struck by Objects, Electrocutions, and Being Caught-in/Between Objects are the leading causes of worker deaths in construction and by eliminating them, approximately 478 lives could be saved a year.

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