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Why Does Texas Have More Deadly Crane Accidents Than Any Other State?

Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs

Since 2012, 8 people have died in crane accidents in Texas, which makes Texas the deadliest state for construction crane incidents. According to federal labor statistics, Texas has nearly 4 times as many crane incident deaths than any other state in the U.S. Because of this recent spike in crane-related incidents, OSHA says they will be increasing safety inspections for construction sites throughout the state of Texas.

Although an increase in safety assessments may help to decrease future incidents, this effort to reduce fatal injuries comes too late for those who have already lost loved ones and family members to these unnecessary accidents.

Recent Crane Accidents

In April of 2019, a serious crane accident left 4 people dead and 4 more injured. The incident, which was caught on video, occurred when the crane suddenly dropped from a significant height, breaking apart on a building below.  

In 2018 a crane fell in a busy neighborhood in University Park during a school construction project, and three fatal crane accidents offered in 2017 in Texas alone. Although many of these accidents have harmed construction workers, bystanders and pedestrians are at risk as well.

To learn more about recent crane accidents in Texas, visit CBS news at dfw.cbslocal.com.

The Dangers Associated with Cranes

As with any big machine, the operation of a crane takes skill and practice, and the machine itself requires upkeep and maintenance in order to ensure it operates properly. Unfortunately, if the crane owner or manufacturer fails to keep the crane in safe, working order, it could be extremely hazardous. Any construction crew manager should know the protocol for proper crane use whenever their work involves cranes, as it so often does. If the manager is poorly trained or lacks experience, they might employ similarly ill-qualified workers to operate the crane or work inside it from great heights.

Until 2018, crane operators in Texas did not need a special license, but as of December, the federal government requires all crane operators to be certified.

OSHA & Crane Inspections

According to OSHA, a 2017 inspection on 77 cranes in Texas found a grand total of 65 violations. Nearly 3 out of 4 of these violations were serious, willful, or repeat offenses. In an effort to curb this number, OSHA says they will be increasing their inspections in the coming year.

Crane accidents aren’t just damaging, they’re often deadly. Falling from a crane can be an enormous drop, which may lead to catastrophic injuries or death. If a construction worker is dropped, thrown, or if they are struck by the crane from below, they could sustain brain injuries, broken bones, spinal injuries, or worse. If you were harmed in a crane accident, make sure you know your legal rights. If you were injured because of a negligent crane operator, a careless construction site manager, a machine malfunction, or any other type of error, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your damages.

Contact Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs to discuss your crane case with our Houston attorneys.

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