Calif. construction foreman crushed to death by crane
The workplace death was the latest in a series of at least six industrial accidents in Napa County since 2003.
Jeffrey Lee Huffman, 44, of Napa was crushed around 1 p.m. by a horizontal crane used to deliver wood and building supplies at the construction site in an industrial area in south Napa, according to Napa police.
Huffman was a foreman for Andrews & Thornley Construction of Napa. The company was building a two-story structure inside a huge warehouse to be used for offices and equipment by a vineyard management company, police said.
Huffman's assistant apparently couldn't see him on a ladder on the side of the building under construction when he maneuvered the crane into position to deliver supplies to the roof area of the building, police said. The crane crushed Huffman against the side of the building.
"All indications are (the crane operator) had no idea his foreman had climbed the ladder," said Cal/OSHA spokesman Dean Fryer. Cal/OSHA will investigate whether there was communication between Huffman and the crane operator and whether the two could see each other.
Fryer said that while it is "outside the norm" for a county of Napa's small size to have so many industrial accidents in a year's period, each accident is different and there is no correlation among them.