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Crane Accidents — What Causes Them and How Can They Be Prevented?

Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2019 at 2:34 pm by Williams Hart   

Nearly three weeks have passed since an out-of-service crane collapsed on top of a local Dallas apartment building during an overnight storm, killing one and injuring many others. Bigge Crane & Rigging, one of the largest and longest-established companies in the industry, made a statement that the crane collapsed due to reported storm winds that reached 75mph on the night of the accident.

Just 8 days after the toppled crane ripped through the Elan City Lights apartment building, another storm overturned a crane located in a residential neighborhood in Irving, TX. Officials stated that high storm winds, again, caused the crane to tip over. Fortunately no injuries were reported. 

In the aftermath of these incidences, experts have started a conversation on what could, and should, have been done to prevent them. 

Former federal crane accident investigator Thomas Barth stated that “High winds blew it over backwards, and these cranes are able to withstand winds up to 140 mph”. 

“Was it installed properly?” He asked.

Where does the responsibility lie?

For those who are suffering injuries–or worse, the loss of a loved one–related to a crane accident, these unanswered questions linger in the shadow of every unmanned machine left to teeter in the wind. 

What are the major causes of crane accident injuries? 

Whether your apartment building is under renovation or you’re closing in on the end of your shift as an operator, it’s important to understand what can happen when a crane is not inspected, maintained, or used properly. 

According to the Occupational Safety Hazard Association (OSHA), the following list are some of the major causes of crane accident injuries: 

  • Contact with powerlines
  • Hook-lifting device failures
  • Improperly trained crane operators
  • Dropped loads
  • Failing to comply with manufacturer safety precautions
  • Rigging failures

While the cases presented above are still under investigation, the crane collapse likely occurred due to parking the machine on unlevel ground. 

How can future crane accident injuries be prevented?

In 2010, OSHA issued an updated list of standards related to the use of cranes and derricks in construction. They include:

  • Pre-erection inspection of tower crane parts.
  • Use of synthetic slings in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions during assembly and disassembly.
  • Deeper assessment of ground conditions.
  • Training, qualification, and certification of crane operators.
  • Improved procedures for working in the vicinity of power lines.

These recent accidents are a reminder that construction site managers and crane operators must continue implementing measures such as adhering to safety inspection policies that would further reduce workers’ exposure to potentially fatal hazards.

Occupational injuries and fatalities in the construction industry are especially difficult, both for the victims and their families. Fortunately, there are lawyers who specialize in work-related injury cases and can help you get the justice that your family and loved one deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (713) 352-7071 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.


Alvin, TX — Contractor Fatally Crushed by Backhoe

Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2019 at 2:18 pm by Williams Hart   

ALVIN, TX–Authorities reported that just before 2pm on Friday, June 14th, a 33-year old Texas man was accidentally killed at a work site on the 400 block of FM 517 near the intersection of Old Alvin road. 

According to Sheriff Henry Trochesset, the employee was installing water lines in a trench when a backhoe rolled over into the hole, crushing him. 

No further details were provided, including the man’s name and employer. 

Construction site deaths made up 20.7% of all worker fatalities in private industry in 2017 — or, one in five worker deaths were in construction. The leading causes of construction industry deaths and injuries are falls, followed by struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between equipment or objects. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that eliminating these ‘fatal four’ leading causes of construction worker injuries would save 582 workers’ lives in America every year.

Construction workers are especially subjected to occupational fatalities or injuries. Fortunately, there are lawyers who specialize in work-related wrongful death cases and can help you get the justice that your family and loved-one deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (713) 352-7071 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.


Houston — Vacant Strip Club Collapses

Posted on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 at 3:02 am by Williams Hart   

On Monday, February 11, 2019, the roof of a vacant strip club collapsed in north Houston.

According to initial reports, Sam Salas and his employees were working at the nearby Jack in the Box when the building of Playhouse Houston, located on Crosstimbers Street and Fulton Street, collapsed. This caused debris to fall, and Juan Lopez’s father’s SUV was hit by some when he was driving by. He was able to swerve away from the other falling debris.

Luckily, the building was vacant when this happened, so there have been no injuries that were reported.

The cause of the collapse is still unknown, and investigation is still underway for this accident.

It is great news to hear that no one was injured in this accident. Unfortunately, there are other victims who are not as lucky. Building collapses are not that common in the United States, but when they do happen, they can be fatal. In a study conducted from 1989 to 2000, a total of 225 building failures occurred in the United States, and from this number, 97 people were killed while 460 were injured. Moreover, this study shows that the most common type of building that is affected by a building failure is the low-rise kind, followed by multistory, tower, long-span, and plant-industrial, and construction and maintenance are two of the most common causes of failure. Other possible causes that are noted are the design, detailing, material-related problems, external, and others.

In this study, Texas is ranked as the 7th state with the most building failures.

Building collapses are undeniably devastating to the victims and their respective families. Thankfully, there are lawyers who specialize in this kind of accident. That is why, if you are a victim of this kind of accident, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please never hesitate to ask help from these lawyers. They will help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (713) 352-7071 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.


Williams Hart secures $16.5M verdict on behalf of two injured workers in Houston

Posted on Friday, May 12th, 2017 at 2:59 pm by Williams Hart   

Today, the trial team of Jim Hart and Steve Kherkher secured a $16.5 million-dollar verdict on behalf of two ironworkers who were injured by a crane operator during the removal and installation of a large glass window at the new Apple store on Westheimer. The workers both broke their backs when the scissor lift they were on was knocked over by the crane operator after he lost control of the crane. Maxim Crane Works, LP was held accountable for the accident and rightfully so, as the accident would not have occurred if industry regulations and standards had been followed by the crane operator and the company.

For more information on this verdict or if you have been hurt in an accident caused by the negligent or careless actions of another party, contact Williams Hart at (713) 352-7071 today.

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