Rochester Crane Collapse Results in Death of Operator

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

A Gerace Construction worker was killed when the crane he was operating tipped into a gorge and ensnared him, according to the Wall Street Journal. The victim, Douglas Fitzmaurice of Wolcott, was moving the crane from one side of the spillway to the other. Rescue crews attempted to lift 35 ton crane off the victim, who was still alive after the accident, but he later died from his injuries. Fitzmaurice was working on a Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. (RG&E) hydroelectric station project on the shore of the Genesee River in Monroe County.

The accident occurred on August 30 at around 2:30pm, and Fitzmaurice died at around 6:15pm. Though the victim was initially conscious and talking with rescue crew members, the four-hour rescue effort took its toll. Rochester Fire Chief John Caufield said, as reported by, “To say that this has been traumatic for the rescuers is an incredible understatement. They went from having face-to-face conversations with him to watching him die in front of their eyes.” The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the state Department of Labor (DOL) have already started to investigate the accident.

Construction accidents are a serious problem in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), in 2010 there were 4,547 fatal work injuries around the country. This equates to 3.5 fatal work accidents per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. Common injuries and fatalities result from transportation accidents, contact with objects or equipment, assault and violent acts, falls, exposure to substances or environment, and fires and explosions.

Due to the dangerous nature of construction work, on-the-job injuries can often be serious and debilitating. If the accident is not fatal, workers’ compensation benefits are sometimes not enough to sufficiently compensate the worker for his or her injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, contact an experienced New York construction accident attorney to find out if you can seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.


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