DUVAL COUNTY, Fla.—A large crane bucket at a shipping dock in Tallyrand struck and killed an employee Jan. 2.
The crane bucket struck the victim’s upper body as it was lowering a load of concrete material onto a vessel docked near the Jacksonville Port Authority on Wigmore Street and Talleyrand Avenue, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities have not released the identity of the deceased but said he was a direct employee of the shipping company. A contractor reportedly employs the dockside crane operator.
The tragedy appears to be an accident and is under the investigation of the U.S. Coast Guard and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Commentary on workplace accidents
I am deeply saddened to learn of another death caused by an act that was likely preventable if proper precautions and safeguards had been adhered to. Details surrounding this accident are sparse as we await further information from OSHA and the U.S. Coast Guard. With the information currently available, we can surmise that the deceased was working for his employer when a third-party crane operator struck his upper body, dealing life-ending injuries.
On the surface, this seems like a straightforward case. However, this case may fall within the intersection of negligence and worker compensation. Generally speaking, injury and death resulting during the course of employment are encompassed in worker compensation law. However, when the injury is caused by a third party, the claim may qualify under the law of negligence which permits the claimant to recover under expanded damage models and additional theories of liability.
It is important for a detailed investigation to be conducted to determine exactly what happened in this case. The investigation will uncover the safety protocols of both agencies, the acts of the parties involved, and the ultimate cause of the accident. While some may think bringing lawsuits is an abhorrent practice, the law is often the driving force behind safer work environments, more responsible employers, and prudent citizens.
I extend my condolences to the friends, family, and colleagues of the deceased.
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