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Crane operator in custody after tragic building collapse

The crane operator involved in a building collapse in Philadelphia that killed six people and injured thirteen is in custody after turning himself in. After the building collapse, he tested positive for pain medication and marijuana. He also has an arrest record that includes a guilty verdict for drug charges. Philadelphia's mayor, Michael Nutter, noted that the two property owners who hired the crane operator in question are also responsible for the tragedy.

Construction site accidents often involve construction workers, but, in this case, the building collapsed onto a Salvation Army thrift store, affecting the general public as well. In fact, the New York Daily News reports that the six deaths included two Salvation Army employees and four customers. The crane operator was hired to tear down a vacant building adjacent to the thrift store. He was allegedly operating the crane when a four-story wall collapsed.

Construction workers and those working or doing business near construction sites are often subject to hazardous conditions. Danger is associated with excavation, electricity, scaffolding, falling, falling objects and impaired coworkers. Although risks at construction sites are nearly unavoidable, accidents are usually preventable if workers and management follow the safety standards outlined by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

Construction injuries are usually very serious. However, the loose network of contractors and subcontractors involved in a work site can make attaining workman's compensation challenging. Therefore, victims of construction site injuries may benefit from attorneys with experience in construction injuries and workman's compensation claims.

Source: New York Daily News, "Crane operator allegedly high while working on Philadelphia demolition site turns himself in to authorities," The Associated Press, June 8, 2013.

Source: CNN, "Crane operator wanted in Philadelphia building collapse turns himself in", Susan Candiotti and Greg Botelh, June 08, 2013

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