Officials with the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health office are investigating a recent construction accident that claimed the life of a cement worker Monday. The victim, a local 50-year-old man, was killed in what many have called a freak accident on a construction site in Honolulu.
According to authorities and witnesses present at the Moana Vista condominium project on Kapiolani Blvd., the accident occurred when powerful winds sparked a chain reaction that caused materials being lifted by a crane to collide into a boom on a cement pump. The boom from the concrete pump then struck the victim, causing fatal injuries.
The tragedy, while still being investigated by officials, is a loss to the community. It also serves as a reminder to every one of the many dangers present on construction sites. As investigators look into the details, they should also question whether safety regulations should be strengthened for worksites and crane operators when there are strong winds.
Just this week in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio passed a measure to tighten crane safety regulations after a nearby pedestrian was fatally killed in a Manhattan crane accident that took place during high winds. Under the new NYC laws, cranes must stop operating when winds exceed 20 mph or gusts exceed 30 mph. Crane and construction operators can face stiff fines for not complying with the new law.
Increasing development and refurbishing of buildings throughout Honolulu, Oahu, and other islands means that workers and nearby locals or tourists face greater risks of suffering harm. Construction sites are among the most dangerous places, and because they are filled with many hazards, construction operators are required by law to follow safety regulations and take reasonable measures to ensure sites are safe. Safety regulations, as well as the continual evaluation and revision of those regulations, are key to protecting the lives of workers and the public.
When workers or the general public suffer injuries or death on or near construction sites, it is important to know that victims and families have legal rights. At Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner, our Honolulu personal injury lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for clients throughout Hawaii after they were harmed in preventable accidents, including construction accidents and accidents resulting in wrongful death.
If you have questions about your rights following an accident or an accident involving a loved one, our firm is available to provide the information you need to better understand whether you may be entitled to compensation and how we can help. Contact Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner for a free consultation.