In one accident, a 63-year-old crane operator died after a ten-metre long post came loose and hit him in the head. The accident took place near the Rörvik dock on the island of Orust off Sweden’s west coast.
Workers were operating a crane on a barge located several metres from shore in an effort to secure the posts into the seabed. For some unknown reason, one of the posts fell from the crane, striking the 63-year-old. He was rushed to Norra Älvsborgs hospital where he later died from his injuries.
The second accident took place in central Malmö. Two workers were up in a bucket lift stringing up Christmas lights on lamp posts when their truck was struck by another truck.
One worker, a 64-year-old man, fell several metres to the ground, while his colleague managed to remain dangling in the bucket. Witnesses reported seeing the man lying bloodied on the ground as ambulance workers tried to revive him.
He was taken to hospital, but doctors were unable to save him.
The truck that struck the crane was driven by a student driver in upper secondary school who was accompanied by an instructor, the Sydsvenskan newspaper reported.
While no one is currently suspected of committing any crime in connection with the accident in Malmö, two police reports were filed, one for a workplace accident and the other for a traffic violation.
The two deaths come just days after two workers died at a coke plant in northern Sweden after drowning in coal tar that spilled out of a tank during routine maintenance. The incident, which took place at a facility operated by steel-maker SSAB, sparked anger from unions about lax workplace safety.
“It is completely unacceptable that there are such shortcomings in the working environment that people die on the job,” IF Metall spokesman Anders Ferbe told the TT news agency at the time.