Industrial Accident Hurts Worker at Norfolk International Terminals

By John Cooper, Norfolk Personal Injury Lawyer

Industrial accidents are a constant threat in Hampton Roads which has numerous shipyards, rail yards and other industrial facilities.

I was saddened to read about an accident on Friday at the Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) at the Port of Virginia which led to a worker being taken to a local hospital.

Norfolk International Terminals in Portsmouth, VA

Norfolk International Terminals

Just after 11 a.m. on Friday, emergency crews arrived at the scene to find a worker had fallen about 25 feet from a crane, reported. He landed on a cargo container which was about 15 feet above the ground, according to Battalion Chief Brandon Dommel with Norfolk Fire-Rescue.

The worker was brought safely to the ground by crews who used a rope rescue system.  He was transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Officials did not release the extent of the worker’s injuries.

A photo on the website, showed heavy damage to the cab of a straddle carrier at NIT.  The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Industrial accidents occur fairly regularly in Hampton Roads. When these kinds of accident happen, the consequences can often be severe. In 2013, a worker was killed at the Lyons Shipyard in Norfolk.

Workers are often the victims of industrial accidents but this is not always the case. Recently, in Manhattan in New York, a massive crane collapsed, killing a passer-by.

The huge crane’s boom ended up across an intersection. It smashed up the roofs of several cars and debris ended scattered across a block. The crane collapse killed David Wichs, who worked at a computerized trading firm.

Crane collapses are one of the things that can go wrong on a construction site. Falls are another. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatal work injuries in the construction and extraction industries increased 5 percent in 2014 to 885. This was the highest number of deaths recorded by construction workers since 2008. A recent building boom in some cities has led to an increase in fatalities.  Improperly constructed scaffolding is a significant cause of workers falling to their deaths.

Falls are one of the most significant causes of deaths in the construction industry. In 2013, for example, there were 291 fatal falls out of a total of just over 800 deaths in the construction industry, according to figures from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

I hope the worker who fell at Norfolk International Terminals makes a full recovery. In cases in which workers fall, there may have been a lapse in safety by an employer or a site owner. Call us if you have been involved in an industrial accident at (757) 455-0077.


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