Fatal Crane Incident in Fort Lauderdale Raises Questions About Construction Safety

Published Date: April 6, 2024

One person was killed and two others were hospitalized Thursday afternoon when a section of crane fell from a building in downtown Fort Lauderdale, officials said. Crews were in the process of “stepping the crane” during the construction of a high-rise building when a section being prepared to increase the crane’s height came loose, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Chief Stephen Gollan said during a news conference. A construction worker fell with the crane section, causing fatal injuries, officials said.

 

The crane section landed on a nearby bridge, damaging at least two vehicles, Gollan said. A man and a woman who had been on the ground were taken to a nearby hospital, where they were listed in stable condition. Another person was treated at the scene and refused transport to the hospital. The bridge was damaged by the falling crane section, meaning the roadway will be closed indefinitely until it’s repaired. The river that runs under the bridge was also closed to marine traffic.

 

Officials didn’t immediately know what caused the crane section to fall. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue will investigate. At the center of the construction nightmare is KAST Construction LLC. Local 10 News learned that KAST Construction has been subject to three OSHA inspections over the last year.

 

One happened in Sarasota in February of 2023, where employees were exposed to a 129-foot fall hazard. The fine was ultimately $9,844. In June of 2023 at a Tampa site, “each employee… was not protected from falling by the use of guardrails” and “employees were exposed to fall hazards of approximately 8 feet.” KAST was hit with a $15,625 fine. And a few years ago, back in 2016, a construction worker was killed on a job site in West Palm Beach. KAST Construction was the general contractor.

 

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Original Article by Roy Ramos & Chris Gothner- Local 10 News

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