Any Connecticut resident who has stopped to watch construction workers on a large building has seen tower cranes and movable cranes lift extremely heavy loads. One might wonder what would happen if the load should come loose and fall to the ground. An incident in another state demonstrated the potentially tragic consequences of such an event.

A tower crane was being used to lift a load of steel beams at a building site. Shortly after the start of the work day, firefighters were called to the scene because two workers had been found underneath the beams, which had fallen from the crane. One of the men died later at a nearby hospital, and the other man was listed in critical condition. Firefighters helped the crane operator descend from the cab of the crane.

The reason for the accident is still under investigation. According to witnesses, the crane’s rigging failed while it was unloading the beams from a truck. The beams fell about 30 feet to the ground and struck the two men.

Such accidents can also occur in Connecticut, and the common elements are instructive. If the man who survived the initial impact lives to recover, he will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, including medical expenses, disability pay and lost wages. The family of the deceased worker will be eligible for survivors’ benefits.

Had the accident happened in Connecticut, similar benefits would be available to the workers and their families. Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in a construction accident may wish to consult a knowledgeable attorney for an evaluation of the facts of the accident and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering benefits from the state’s workers’ compensation system.