Crane Hits Power Lines in Catskill, New York

by | Mar 27, 2024 | Industrial Accident, Wrongful Death

There was a crane accident in Catskill, New York on March 25, 2024.  According to reports, a crane struck power lines at the Catskill Marina before catching fire on Monday.  At the time, the crew was attempting to remove trees from the site.  The workers are believed to have worked for Creekside Restaurant, the reported owner of the crane.  It is unclear what training the workers had in crane operations before the incident occurred.  The operator of the crane, Branden Luciano, was electrocuted in the accident.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by this tragic incident.

The intersection of crane operations and overhead power lines presents a significant safety hazard within the construction industry, emphasizing the crucial need for specialized training and comprehensive safety protocols. The risk of cranes coming into contact with power lines not only threatens electrocution and fire incidents but also endangers lives, making it a paramount concern for site safety. This highlights the importance of rigorous training for crane operators and construction personnel, focusing on hazard identification, adherence to safety guidelines regarding minimum safe distances, and the deployment of preventive measures. Optimizing safety around power lines during crane operations demands a deep understanding of these risks and a commitment to fostering a culture of safety and awareness on construction sites.

Enhancing operator competency through targeted training programs is essential for mitigating the risks associated with power lines. These programs should cover the practical aspects of crane maneuverability, the application of safety equipment, and emergency response strategies. Equipping operators with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complexities of working near power lines can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents. Moreover, the role of effective communication and teamwork on construction sites cannot be overstated. Regular safety briefings, the use of visual markers to indicate the proximity to power lines, and established emergency protocols collectively contribute to a safer working environment.

Addressing the dangers of power lines in crane operations requires a multifaceted approach, combining thorough training, strategic planning, and site-wide vigilance. By prioritizing education and adherence to established safety practices, the construction industry can better protect its workforce from the hazards of overhead power lines. Investing in operator training and fostering a proactive safety culture not only enhances the safety and efficiency of crane operations but also underscores the industry’s commitment to the well-being of its personnel.

There have been a number of recent incidents involving cranes.  A barge crane toppled into the Intracoastal Waterway in Gulf Stream, Florida on October 25, 2023.  A shipping container fell onto a worker after chains broke during a crane accident in Moundville, Alabama on November 22, 2023.  A boom truck collapsed in New York City, New York on January 9, 2024.  There was a crane accident in El Paso, Texas on January 26, 2024.  A boom truck collapsed onto an apartment building in Norwood, Massachusetts on March 15, 2024.

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.

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.  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.