Two Workers Killed in Crane Lift Incident

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: June 3rd, 2016
Topics: Materials Handling & Storage | OSHA Inspections |

Two workers at a firehouse construction site in Hanover, NJ, died when a 10,000-pound generator being hoisted by a crane fell, after one or more lifting straps broke.

News accounts indicate that the workers were not directly under the crane boom or generator when it fell. Rather, it fell from a height of about five feet, landing sideways before striking the workers.

Joseph Donahue Jr., 25, died at the scene, while Robert Derkacs Jr., 45, died later in hospital.

Donahue, who was an avid outdoorsman, is survived by his high-school sweetheart and wife, Nicole Donahue, his parents, two brothers and two sisters-in-law.

Derkacs was an electrician and foreman for Boz Electrical Contracting in Vernon, NJ.

The two workers were involved in construction of the Whippany Fire Department firehouse. OSHA is investigating.

Related content:

Electrocution is another hazard associated with operating cranes too close to overhead power lines. Read this article about a double fatality involving crane contact with high-voltage electricity.


Two workers in Seattle were injured by rebar that fell from a crane at a construction site. Read more here.

This article provides some statistics on crane-related injuries and fatalities.