Crane Rental Company Faces OSHA Citations, Fines After Worker’s Death

Crane Rental Company Faces OSHA Citations, Fines After Worker’s Death

The crane operator suffered a fatal electrocution on a Capt’n Hook’s Crane Service Inc.

Following a 34-year-old crane operator’s death by electrocution, OSHA has imposed fines totaling $26,585 to Capt’n Hook’s Crane Service Inc. The agency launched an investigation into the Melbourne, Florida-based crane rental service following the August 2023 incident.

According to a release dated Feb. 8, the crane's boom—extended to lift metal frame roof trusses—came into contact with high-voltage power lines, resulting in the operator's immediate death. OSHA later found that the company had sent the uncertified crane operator to work alone on a residential construction site when the accident occurred.

OSHA cited Capt’n Hook’s Crane Service with three serious violations, including the employment of an uncertified operator and the operation of a crane dangerously close to overhead power lines without ensuring the crane was on a stable foundation. Additionally, the company was cited for two other-than-serious violations for the failure to properly label rigging equipment and maintain legible warning labels on the crane.

“Fatal incidents in construction often occur because of the employer’s failure to follow basic safety protocols and industry-standard regulations. In this case, Capt’n Hook’s Crane Service cut corners and made the conscious choice to send an uncertified crane operator to a job site. That decision led to this worker losing their life,” OSHA Area Office Director Erin Sanchez in Orlando said in a statement. “Employers owe it to their employees to provide a safe working environment.”

Capt’n Hook’s Crane Service Inc. now has 15 business days to comply with the citations, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the findings before an independent commission.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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