Construction on a new addition to the Kent County Jail was halted recently on account of a crane collapse. The crane was picking up a load when a cable snapped and sent part of the crane into an older portion of the jail building. As a result, part of the roof collapsed causing additional damage to the building’s water and electrical lines.
According to police, the construction accident injured three people. Around 150 inmates had to be transferred to jails in surrounding counties for staff, inmate safety and inmate crowding purposes.
Construction work was originally scheduled to commence at the end of this year, but the crane collapse has now caused uncertain and indefinite work delays.
The crane collapse at the construction site provided a cautionary reminder that working in the construction industry is one of the most dangerous occupations. Construction work involves executing dangerous tasks in difficult work conditions, such as at great heights or deep excavations in all kinds of weather. Construction sites are often fluid environments with a variety of workers surrounded by dangerous tools, heavy equipment and hazardous materials.
With so many workers on job sites, an accident or misstep results in harmful, sometimes catastrophic accidents. Consequently, serious occupational injuries and fatalities are common hazards on construction work sites. Overall, the construction industry has a poor health and safety record as compared to other industries. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that construction workers sustain work-related injuries at rates that are above the national average for all occupational industries.
Other factors in construction injuries include a lack of safety training, a lack of safety precautions, high levels of self employment and equipment and machinery failures. Many construction injuries and deaths are accidental, but negligence can turn a harmless situation into a potentially fatal one.