Friday, August 11, 2017

58-year-old sign worker Robert Tanner with Accent Neon and Sign Company died after his torso was pinned between the bucket and the metal overhang of the sign in Palm Harbor, Florida

Worker killed while pinned by sign in Palm Harbor identified

By WFLA Web Staff

Updated: August 9, 2017, 5:49 pm

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man who was killed in a work-related accident Wednesday in Palm Harbor.

The incident happened outside the Glory Days Grill on US Highway 19 North around 11 a.m.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, 58-year-old Robert Tanner and 50-year-old Charles Walker, both employed by Accent Neon and Sign Company, were working on an electronic billboard when Tanner went up in a hydraulic bucket truck.

Tanner was about 20 feet in the air when he leaned over the control panel, trying to reach an electrical access panel on the sign, and activated a switch to raise the bucket higher.

Deputies say Tanner’s torso was then pinned between the bucket and the metal overhang of the sign.

Due to the presser, Tanner couldn’t release the switch. Walker also tried to reverse the boom using a control panel on the side of the truck, but couldn’t override the panel.

Paramedics from Palm Harbor Fire Rescue worked to free Tanner for more than 20 minutes, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Later in the day, the owner of Accent Neon and Sign Company was seen testing the bucket truck that the employee was in when the incident happened.

Right now, the sheriff’s office is calling this an accidental death.

Sheriff’s deputies are on the scene along with OSHA and a medical examiner.


PALM HARBOR, FL -— A man was killed Wednesday morning when he was pinned between a truck bucket and a billboard sign.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said Robert Tanner, 58, was in the bucket about 11 a.m. working on a sign in front of Glory Days Grill at 34200 U.S. 19 N. He and a coworker, 50-year-old Charles Walker, were working for Tarpon Springs-based Accent Neon and Sign.

Tanner, of Tarpon Springs, leaned over the panel that controls the bucket's height trying to reach an electrical access panel on the sign. He accidentally hit a switch that caused the bucket to rise, pinning the man's torso between it and the sign, deputies said.

Walker, of New Port Richey, unsuccessfully tried to free the man then called 911. It took Palm Harbor Fire Rescue paramedics 20 minutes to release the man because he was pressing on the control panel, causing the truck's hydraulics to apply more and more pressure to his torso.

When paramedics got him down, he was pronounced dead. The Sheriff's Office said the death appears to be accidental.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office responded to the scene to investigate further.