The New Orleans Police Department has reported that a crane struck electricity poles on Thursday morning, resulting in downed power lines. It is unknown if anyone was injured in this accident.
Despite being a vital part of the economy, construction projects often pose severe hazards both to construction workers and to the general public if precautions are not taken. Construction and pipeline companies must ensure that work is regularly and properly inspected. Each construction project poses its own unique risks and hazards based on the work being done. Risks that may present themselves during a project must be carefully evaluated before the job begins. Construction sites often have multiple simultaneous operations ongoing, all of which must be carefully planned to ensure the safety of all workers. Nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the nation every day. The fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average in this category for all industries.
Companies, supervisors, and workers may not be fully aware of the hazards of operating cranes near overhead electric lines. As a result, they may not have implemented proper policies and procedures to minimize risks. One mechanism to safely evaluate and prepare for risks is through the use of a Job Safety Analysis (“JSA”) or Risk Assessment, which is standard in the industry. When this does not occur, it can result in catastrophic personal injury or death. In a JSA, each step of the job is examined to identify potential hazards and to recommend the safest way to perform the work in order to minimize those risks. According to OSHA:
A job hazard analysis is a technique that focuses on job tasks as a way to identify hazards before they occur. It focuses on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools, and the work environment. Ideally, after you identify uncontrolled hazards, you will take steps to eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.
OSHA recommends JSAs be performed for all of the following:
• Jobs with the highest injury or illness rates;
• Jobs with the potential to cause severe or disabling injuries or illness, even if there is no history of previous accidents;
• Jobs in which one simple human error could lead to a severe accident or injury;
• Jobs that are new to your operation or have undergone changes in processes and procedures; and
• Jobs complex enough to require written instructions
According to a recent study, 12 of the 25 most dangerous jobs as measured by the rate of people who die at work are in the construction industry.
OSHA has implemented numerous regulations that govern work when near overhead lines. Comapnies must ensure that overhead power lines are de-energized or separated from the crane and its load by implementing one or more of the following procedures:
De-energize and visibly ground electrical distribution and transmission lines
Use independent insulated barriers to prevent physical contact with the power lines
Maintain minimum clearance between power lines and the crane
Our experienced lawyers have handled personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits of all kinds and have the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously injured as a result of a crane accident. The experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident on a construction site.
Our lawyers have represented numerous workers who have sustained serious and catastrophic injuries on a job site as a result of the negligence of another party. There are strict and short time limits on making claims, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.