Crane Accidents

Penny Caused ’05 Jax Beach Crane Collapse

02/26/07

Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Penny Causes Crane Collapse

Almost two years ago, three construction workers were injured when a 100-ton crane came crashing down on a Jacksonville Beach construction site.

The three workers were injured, but survived the collapse, which occurred back in July of 2005 as the crane was being used to build the Ocean Park Condos.

Monday morning, attorneys for the workers announced in a news conference that it was a single penny, and a company’s negligence, that was the cause for the accident.

An investigation by OSHA discovered that a penny had been lodged in the safety switch inside the crane, a practice attorneys claim was commonly used in order to override the safety mechanism and make the crane easier to operate.

Attorneys for the injured workers say the crane company put deadlines over safety.

“They took the almighty coin, the dollar, and shoved it into a safety bypass switch so that the job could go on,” said attorney Eric Ragatz.

Willie Slaughter, one of the injured workers, relived the ordeal on Monday, saying he thought he was going to die.

“[I was] pinned to the floor covered with scaffolding, hollering for my life. I had an unborn daughter that I’d never seen. I thought I’d never see her.”

The injured workers have settled their lawsuits against the crane company.

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