There was a crane collapse on a construction site in the District of Columbia on March 17, 2021. The crane was performing a lift when it became unstable and tipped over on to a nearby residence. One worker was taken to a local hospital for medical treatment.
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. This is also true of equipment rental companies, who often provide machinery for construction projects. 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.
There have been a number of recent incidents involving cranes. There was a crane collapse on a construction site in Syracuse, New York on February 23, 2021. There was a partial crane collapse on top of a 31-story building in Brooklyn, NY on February 11, 2021 in Brooklyn, New York. A crew member on the Russian cargo ship ATLANTIC PROJECT II tragically lost his life in a crane accident on February 9, 2021. There was a deadly accident involving a crane on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 in Mobile, Alabama. There was a deadly accident involving a crane on Monday, January 25, 2021 in Channelview, Texas, killing James Seigel. On November 5, 2020, a crane struck electricity poles, resulting in downed power lines. On October 2, 2020, two workers were injured when a small lift crane collapsed in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On September 16, 2020, two cranes collided in Austin, Texas, resulting in injuries to at least 22 people. The container ship MSC MIA struck a gantry crane while leaving a terminal in Valencia, Spain on the morning of September 13, 2020.
Companies, supervisors, and workers may not be fully aware of the hazards of operating cranes. 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.
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 involving a crane.
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.