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Fatal Ohio crane accident underscores construction dangers

Notwithstanding good-faith attempts by management at a construction workplace to make the environment as safe as possible, and regardless of how many rules are promulgated by safety regulators to guard against construction accidents, industrial worksites always harbor the potential for danger and workers’ injuries.

That sad reality was firmly underscored earlier this month when two workers employed by an Ohio construction contractor died in a crane accident.

The incident occurred at the Timken Company’s Faircrest Steel Plant in Canton after contracted employees working with Beaver Excavating had prepared a load of construction materials for lifting by a crane. As the crane was readying to lift the load, a number of workers heard its cable line snap. The boom fell onto the two men. In a post-accident investigation of the incident, the Stark County coroner noted that both men died instantly.

No other employees were injured in the accident. The crane’s operator was taken to a nearby medical facility for evaluation.

Construction operations at Faircrest were suspended following the incident, with Timken company officials stating that an accident report had been duly filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The accident comes at a time when Timken has been firmly engaged with major expansion projects. Earlier this year, the company announced a $225 million expansion of the Faircrest facility that is expected to increase its steel production by 25 percent.

Beaver Excavating is based in Perry Township. The owner of the crane, ALL Erection and Crane Rental, is based in Independence.

Investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Source: Canton Repository, “Two men killed in crane accident at Timken Co.,” Robert Wang, May 4, 2013