A normal day for South Austin construction workers turned into a workplace disaster when the crane being used to hoist a concrete wall collapsed. The collapse forced workers to the ground, who then scrambled to run away from the area. As they ran, the crane itself began to come apart and collapsed on the floor below. The collapse landed on one worker, who was immediately taken to the hospital for his injuries. Another worker was injured in the frenzy, but he chose to forgo his right to medical attention.
The injured worker was in non-life threating condition when he arrived at the hospital.
A crane operator and safety consultant for OSHA stated that truck cranes are more prone to failure than large tower cranes. Concerning mobile crane accidents, he said, “Most of their accidents occur during lifting operations because they don’t have as many safety devices built into them as a tower crane and they’re much easier to override those safety systems.”
The cause of the incident for Raymond Construct Company is currently under investigation. The concrete wall being up righted proved too much for the crane and a line snapped, causing the concrete wall to fall. The velocity and weight of the concrete wall’s fall pulled on the lines that were still connected to the crane. This forced the crane to tilt forward, ultimately leading to the cranes collapse.
While this much is known, the important question is why the line snapped in the first place.
There are two theories for the cause of the line snapping:
- First, the concrete wall’s integrity was in question. This would mean an evaluation team may have missed an important factor in checking the wall’s integrity that ultimately led to the line’s failure.
- The other theory is that the crane itself was not put together properly. The line that came from the crane and held the cement slab may have been old or improperly taken care of. In this case, the team that assembled and evaluated the line’s integrity may be found at fault.
In either case, negligence may have been the root cause of the accident’s occurrence.