Crane Collapse in Taylor, Texas

by | Apr 13, 2024 | Construction Accident

There was a crane accident in Taylor, Texas on April 12, 2024.  According to reports, the boom of a crane collapsed at the Samsung semiconductor plant.  Luckily, the boom did not land on anyone when it hit the ground.  At the time, the crew was preparing to make repairs to the crane.  The incident remains under investigation.

Crane booms are critical components in lifting heavy loads at construction sites and other industrial settings. The collapse of a crane’s boom can be a catastrophic event, leading to significant property damage, severe injuries, or fatalities. One common cause of crane boom collapses is mechanical issues. These can range from structural failures due to poor maintenance, such as corrosion or fatigue in the boom’s metal, to mechanical failures in the hydraulic systems that control the extension and retraction of the boom. Faulty or worn-out mechanical components, such as pins, bearings, or bushings, can also lead to a sudden and unexpected collapse when under load.

Another contributing factor to crane boom collapses is improper assembly or setup of the crane. If the crane is not assembled according to the manufacturer’s specifications, it may lead to undue stress on parts of the boom that are not designed to handle such loads. Incorrectly calculated load weights, or the misjudgment of the crane’s capacity, can exert excessive pressure on the boom, causing it to bend or snap. Additionally, the ground conditions under the crane must be stable and capable of supporting the weight and operation of the crane; failure in this aspect can lead to a shift in balance, causing the boom to collapse.

Environmental conditions also play a significant role in crane operations and potential boom collapse. High winds, for example, can exert additional lateral pressures on the boom, especially when carrying loads at higher elevations. Similarly, operating a crane near its maximum load capacity in extreme weather conditions can increase the risk of mechanical failures. To mitigate these risks, crane operators must adhere to the operational limits set by the crane manufacturer and ensure that all possible precautions are taken to monitor and adapt to changing weather conditions. Regular inspections, proper training, and adherence to safety protocols are essential to prevent boom collapse and ensure the safety of all personnel on site.

There have been a number of recent incidents involving cranes.  A boom truck collapsed onto an apartment building in Norwood, Massachusetts on March 15, 2024.  A crane struck power lines at the Catskill Marina before catching fire in Catskill, New York on March 25, 2024.  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.

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.