Fallout from fatal crane accident continues for Oklahoma City company

An Oklahoma City company continues to deal with lawsuits more than a year after a crane accident claimed a man's life on the Chesapeake Energy Corp. campus.
BY ANDREW KNITTLE aknittle@opubco.com Published: January 20, 2012

More than a year later, an Oklahoma City company continues to deal with fallout from a crane accident that claimed a man's life on the Chesapeake Energy Corp. campus.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued Rent-A-Crane of Oklahoma Inc. a “serious” citation about a year ago, and fined the company $4,200, claiming the company didn't do enough to ensure one of its employees was properly stowing the crane's boom while it was in use.

Michael Parsons, who was 42, died Aug. 31, 2010, when something fell off the crane and struck him in the head, according to police reports. Official documents do not make clear what type of item fell off the crane.

Parsons was the crane's operator and an employee of Rent-A-Crane.

Another man was injured during the accident, although he was not identified by police.

The police report indicates the accident happened near Building No. 9 on the sprawling Chesapeake Energy campus and states Parsons was dead by the time officers arrived.

Rent-A-Crane had been issued another citation described as “serious,” but it was dismissed as part of a settlement agreement reached in early 2011.

This “serious” citation claimed the company hadn't properly trained Parsons on how to stow the 130-ton Grove crane's boom.

Keith Rohlmeier, a Rent-A-Crane spokesman, confirmed that the company has ongoing lawsuits associated with the incident.

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