There was a fatal accident involving a crane at in Jefferson County, Texas on April 22, 2021. A Toyota pickup up truck traveling westbound on Interstate 10 was struck by a crane which toppled over. At the time, construction crews were performing work in the area when a heavy crane malfunctioned and toppled over onto the adjacent roadway. Two victims in the truck were pronounced dead at the scene: Sarfaraz Karowadia and Altaf Kasowadia, both from Friendswood, Texas. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by this tragedy.
Reports indicate that the construction project was being performed by Johnson Brothers Corporation. Hemphill Construction was one of the subcontractors for the job, and also owned the crane involved in the accident.
Despite being a vital part of the economy, industrial projects often pose severe hazards both to workers and to the general public if precautions are not taken. Construction companies must ensure that work is regularly and properly inspected, and that equipment is functioning properly. Each project poses its own unique risks and hazards that must be considered. Risks that may present themselves during a project must be carefully evaluated before the job begins to minimize the dangers both to workers and to members of the public. Work sites often have multiple simultaneous operations ongoing, all of which must be carefully planned to ensure the safety of all workers.
There have been a number of recent incidents involving cranes. Two workers in North Carolina were injured when a crane struck nearby electric lines on April 1, 2021. There was a deadly accident involving a crane in crane in Mont Belvieu, Texas on March 21, 2021. There was a crane collapse on a construction site in the District of Columbia on March 17, 2021. There was a crane collapse on a construction site in Syracuse, New York on February 23, 2021. 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 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.
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
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. Our experienced attorneys have previously been involved in numerous lawsuits involving cranes or electric lines. 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.