Deadly Crane Accident in Park City, Utah

by | May 19, 2024 | Construction Accident, Wrongful Death

There was a deadly crane accident in Park City, Utah on May 18, 2024.  According to reports, a worker was driving a crane when it fell down an embankment into a ditch.  The driver was crushed as a result.  The incident remains under investigation.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by this deadly accident.

Small cranes are invaluable on construction sites, providing the mobility and versatility needed to lift and transport materials in tight or uneven spaces. However, the movement of these cranes across a worksite carries significant risks, particularly the danger of falling down an embankment. Such incidents can lead to severe injuries or fatalities, including the risk of the crane operator being crushed. Understanding these risks and implementing preventative measures is crucial for ensuring worker safety.

One of the primary risks associated with small cranes moving on a worksite is the potential for the crane to fall down an embankment. Construction sites often have uneven terrain, including slopes and embankments, which can pose challenges for crane operators. If a crane is not properly stabilized or if the ground beneath it is unstable, the crane can tip over and fall down an embankment. This risk is heightened when the crane is carrying a heavy load, as the added weight can shift the center of gravity and increase the likelihood of a tip-over.

When a crane falls down an embankment, the operator is at significant risk of being crushed. The enclosed cab of a crane provides some protection, but in the event of a rollover, the structural integrity of the cab can be compromised. The weight of the crane and its load can exert enormous pressure on the cab, potentially crushing the operator inside. Even with safety features like roll-over protection structures (ROPS), the force of such an incident can cause severe injuries or fatalities. This risk underscores the importance of proper training and vigilance when operating cranes on uneven terrain.

To mitigate the risk of cranes falling down embankments, worksites must implement rigorous safety protocols and preventative measures. This includes conducting thorough site assessments to identify and address potential hazards, such as unstable ground or steep slopes. Operators should receive comprehensive training on navigating uneven terrain and the importance of stabilizing the crane before lifting any load. Using additional stabilization equipment, such as outriggers and mats, can help distribute the weight and prevent tipping. Regular maintenance and inspections of the crane are also crucial to ensure all safety features are functioning correctly.

There have been a number of recent incidents involving cranes.  A crane collapsed at the Venture Global LNG construction project in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana on April 16, 2024.  A crane collapsed during construction at the Las Vegas Convention Center on April 24, 2024.  There was a crane accident in Braintree, Massachusetts on May 1, 2024.  One person was killed when a crane fell onto a cement truck in Houston, Texas on May 16, 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.