Deadly Crane Accident in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

by | Apr 6, 2024 | Construction Accident, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death

There was a deadly crane accident in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on April 4, 2024.  According to reports, a portion of a crane on a high-rise construction project fell to the ground below.  The structure fell onto a car below.  At least one construction worker who fell with the structure was killed in the accident.  At the time, the crew was increasing the height of the crane, a process known as stepping.  Additional injuries are also reported.

Increasing the height of a crane, a process commonly referred to as stepping, introduces a multitude of risks that must be carefully managed to ensure the safety of workers and the integrity of the operation. Firstly, as the crane’s height is extended, stability becomes a critical concern. The higher the crane reaches, the greater the risk of instability due to factors such as wind loads, uneven ground conditions, or insufficient counterweight. Any imbalance or instability in the crane structure can result in catastrophic accidents, including collapses or toppling, endangering both workers on the crane and those in the vicinity.

Secondly, stepping a crane often involves assembling additional sections or components to extend its reach vertically. This assembly process introduces the risk of falls, crush injuries, or struck-by hazards for workers involved in erecting the crane. Maneuvering heavy components at height requires meticulous planning, proper lifting techniques, and effective communication among the construction crew to prevent accidents. Moreover, the use of cranes and lifting equipment during the stepping process adds complexity to the operation, necessitating stringent adherence to safety procedures to mitigate the risk of accidents or equipment failure.

Lastly, as the height of the crane increases, the potential consequences of any mishap or failure become more severe. Higher cranes pose a greater risk to nearby structures, pedestrians, and other workers on the construction site in the event of a collapse or accident. Additionally, the increased height amplifies the effects of external factors such as wind, weather conditions, or electrical hazards, heightening the risk of accidents or equipment damage. Effective risk assessment, thorough planning, and continuous monitoring throughout the stepping process are essential to identify and mitigate potential hazards, ensuring the safety and well-being of all personnel involved in the operation.

There have been a number of recent incidents involving cranes.  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.  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.

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.