Crane Collapse in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana

by | Apr 17, 2024 | Construction Accident, Personal Injury

There was a crane accident in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana on April 16, 2024.  According to reports, a crane collapsed at the under construction Venture Global LNG site.  At least one person was injured as a result.  The incident remains under investigation.

Crane collapses at large construction projects can result in devastating consequences, including severe injuries, loss of life, and significant project delays. One of the primary causes of crane collapses is mechanical failure, which can stem from various sources such as faulty crane design, manufacturing defects, or wear and tear of critical components like booms, cables, or pins. Over time and with constant use, these components can degrade, leading to a catastrophic failure if not properly maintained and inspected. Inadequate maintenance routines can miss early signs of distress or malfunction in the crane’s structural integrity or mechanical systems, increasing the risk of collapse.

Another significant factor leading to crane collapses is improper assembly or setup of the crane. This process is highly technical and requires precise adherence to the manufacturer’s specifications. Errors during assembly, such as incorrect bolting or misalignment of sections, can compromise the crane’s stability and operational integrity. Moreover, the ground on which the crane is set up plays a crucial role; insufficiently stabilized and leveled ground can fail under the weight and dynamic loads imposed by the crane’s operations. If the ground conditions are not adequately assessed or prepared, or if the crane’s load exceeds the planned capacity, the risk of tipping or collapse is significantly heightened.

Operational errors also contribute significantly to crane collapses. These include overloading the crane beyond its maximum load capacity, sudden swinging or dropping of heavy loads, or operating the crane in adverse weather conditions such as high winds or lightning. Crane operators must be thoroughly trained not only in the crane’s operation but also in understanding and respecting the load limits and the environmental conditions under which the crane can safely operate. Failure to adhere to these operational protocols can easily lead to miscalculations and misjudgments, resulting in structural overloading and potential collapse. Thus, continuous training, strict adherence to safety guidelines, and situational awareness are essential to prevent such dangerous incidents on construction sites.

There have been a number of recent incidents involving cranes.  A crane toppled over while performing work in the Interstate 35 median in Bexar County, Texas on April 1, 2024.  A portion of a crane on a high-rise construction project fell while the crane was stepping to increase its height in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on April 4, 2024.  The boom of a crane collapsed at the Samsung semiconductor plant in Taylor, Texas on April 12, 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 to learn more about your legal rights.