MADISON COUNTY, NE — Keith Polenske, 50, died Oct. 30 after falling from a scissor-lift and hitting his head at the Continental manufacturing plant in Norfolk.
Witnesses told law enforcement that an automated crane struck a scissor-lift Polenske had been working on, and caused the lift to tip over, according to a local news report.
Emergency response personnel were dispatched to the scene at about 5:45 p.m. Saturday evening. Polenske was taken to Faith Regional ER with serious injuries that he later died from.
No additional information about the accident was immediately available.
COMMENTARY ON THE KEITH POLENSKE ACCIDENT
News of Mr. Polenske’s fatal fall is deeply distressing. The information authorities released indicates that an automated piece of machinery hit the machine the victim was working on, causing him to fall to his deathFatal accidents involving cranes are more common than we realize. According to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatal accidents involving cranes average about 44 per year, with many more mishaps occurring with non-fatal injuries.
When learning of such an accident, one always wonders, “How did this happen, especially when an automated machine was involved?” Or “What was the condition of the equipment or of the workplace?” The answers to these questions cannot be ascertained from the sparse details in the accident report. However, it is certain that a thorough investigation must be conducted to determine why the automated crane hit the scissor-lift and what measures must be taken to resolve all issues equitably for all parties concerned.
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