The plaintiff was a 58-year-old male employed as an ironworker at a construction site. On the morning in question, his employer hoisted steel beams using a crane. Initially, the beams were hoisted one at a time. Later, however, the employer began “treeing” the iron beams, or lifting multiple iron beams simultaneously.
In the “treeing” process, each steel beam is connected to the crane’s hook using a different length of cable – short, medium and long. The first beam is selected from the layout area and connected to the crane hook with the shortest cable and hoisted into the air. The operator centers the first beam over the second, then centers both over the third beam. Once the third beam is connected to the crane hook, all three beams are hoisted to their appropriate location.
The first beam was connected to the crane hook and hoisted into the air. It was then centered over the second beam to be connected. While the plaintiff was connecting the second beam onto the crane’s hook, movement of the first beam caused tension on the second line, resulting in the medium length line going taut. That pulled the second beam, causing it to roll over onto the plaintiff’s left leg.