Operator killed after crane overturns in Nebraska

Updated Jun 1, 2015

wind farm constructionA crane operator in Nebraska was killed earlier this week when his machine overturned.

According to a report from the Lincoln Journal Star, 40-year-old Thomas Bales was operating a 90-ton crane for a subcontractor on a wind farm project near Elgin.

As Bales was driving the machine along a road near the site Tuesday morning, the crane slipped into a ditch and overturned. The paper reports Bales, who hailed from Denver and was working for Wanzek Construction Inc., died Wednesday.

Wanzek is a subcontractor on the Prairie Breeze II Wind Energy Center being built for Invenergy. Bales was employed by Tradesman International and had only been with Wanzek for 10 days.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Omaha office has opened an investigation. The office told the Journal Star, “it has received complaints alleging workers at the site were exposed to hazards while working near county roads that aren’t closed and don’t have adequate warning signs.”