An investigation by CBS found that of all states, Texas 'leads' the nation in deadly crane accidents. The CBS 11 I-Team examined the safety of cranes in North Texas from 2011-2015. According to federal labor statistics, Texas has four times as many deaths caused by cranes than any other state in the same 4-year period. Since 2012, 8 North Texas workers have lost their lives in crane accidents. Surprisingly, the investigation also found that some of the deaths were not reported by local media. Investigators from CBS say this lack of information is encouraged by construction companies to slow the flow of information about these accidents.
Deadly Texas crane accidents in recent years include:
- 2012: 2 workers killed at the University of Texas Dallas
- 2013: 1 Alvarado worker killed when struck by a crane
- 2015: 1 Dallas worker crushed to death between the crane boom and truck
- 2017: 1 Commerce worker killed by granite that fell from a crane
- 2017: 1 Royse City worker struck by a crane beam and killed
- 2017: 1 Dallas worker killed by crane that fell over
OSHA Developed a Special Initiative for Crane Safety in North Texas
Crane accidents were so common between 2011 and 2015 that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration created an enforcement initiative to keep construction companies in the Texas region accountable. The initiative caused OSHA to conduct more than 77 crane inspections in 2017 alone. Inspectors uncovered 65 violations with 71 percent of them being a willful, serious, or a repeated offense. However, OSHA can only do so much. If cases stay out of the public eye, large companies only end up paying fines—typically less than $10,000 each—and continue operating unsafely until the next inspection. Without further legal action or public outcry, a construction company will not be compelled to make necessary safety changes.
At Arnold & Itkin, we’ve repeatedly reported that construction is the deadliest industry in the nation. Time and time again, our attorneys have faced companies that neglected safety until their workers suffered the consequences. State law still doesn't require crane operators to have a license (although federal law requires certification). As long as construction companies ignore safety, we'll be there to hold them accountable for it. Crane accidents are always preventable, so any harm workers and pedestrians suffer is due to negligence. We hope that cities and counties across the nation take note of Texas' abysmal record and reexamine the safety of their crane operations.
If you or a loved one is suffering after an accident, help is available. Our crane accident attorneys have won billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Learn your options in a free consultation at (888) 493-1629.