Workers at the All Aboard West Palm Beach station construction site narrowly escaped death recently when a 100-ton crane collapsed while they were working, according to the Palm Beach Post. The $29-million-dollar construction project is one of four that the company plans to build as part of its passenger line between Miami and Orlando.
The crane fell behind a fence onto the 500 block of Evernia Street. According to one of the workers, who chose not to be identified in the story, the crane toppled over that Friday afternoon when it “snagged on something” as it was drilling into the ground. An hour and a half after the accident, construction workers on-site resumed their work and no-one was injured.
All Aboard has yet to find out the exact cause of the accident, according to the article.
While the employees working on the All Aboard station were extremely fortunate, many construction workers can easily run out of luck performing the day-to-day tasks assigned to them. Last month, a construction worker in Maitland was killed in a workplace accident after being run over by a dump truck.
Florida ties with California as the second most dangerous state for construction workers, with Texas being the most dangerous, according to Viewpoint. In cities like West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, which are home to hundreds of construction companies and general contractors, dangerous workplace accidents can happen at any time.
Construction fatalities make up 19.5% of workplace accident fatalities – a construction worker is three times more likely to die on the job than the average worker in the United States. According to Viewpoint, most of these deaths are caused by the “Fatal Four” – falls, getting caught between objects, electrocution, and being struck by heavy objects.
Construction workers in Florida have the right to work in a safe environment. A worker is reasonably safe, for example, if he or she has the necessary training to operate construction tools, is provided with tools that are not defective, and works at a site that is routinely inspected for safety threats.
A person who has been injured while doing his or her job at a construction site is covered by workers’ compensation laws. The Division of Workers’ Compensation says that any employer in the construction industry that employs one or more full- or part-time employees must have workers’ compensation for those employees.
However, recovering compensation after an accident may be difficult, so it’s important to keep track of medical expenses and have copies of all the medical and police records after the accident.