Were you injured in a jobsite accident involving a crane? The attorneys at Baron & Budd are currently taking cases from victims and surviving family members of a crane accident or crane collapse. Crane accidents cause many injuries and deaths each year in the United States. But the dangers of a crane on a jobsite are taken to a whole new level in the oilfield. When a crane is located on a moving oilrig or platform offshore, or at a derrick or drilling rig on land, even a slight error or equipment failure can be deadly.
Call 866-974-0818 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation with our crane accident lawyers if you or a loved one suffered serious injuries, electrocution, or died in an accident or collapse involving a crane.
Cranes are essential components in the oil and gas industry for the completion of work in both offshore and onshore locations. Loading and unloading ships, preparing to drill, assembling an oil platform, and working on rigs and platforms all involve the rigging and movement of heavy objects with the help of a crane. When adequate care is taken, these machines can be used to safely maneuver extremely large objects.
OSHA provides extensive information regarding the specific requirements, certifications, and training each person involved in the operation must have. Crane operators must also follow detailed instructions for proper inspections and crane maintenance. Negligence during any part of the process can lead to serious injuries and even death if the load or the crane itself falls, tips over, or collapses.
Crane operators may also misjudge the height of another catwalk or structure above or below the crane, causing accidental contact. These misjudgments can lead to electrocution, injury of bucket workers, falls, and death.
Severe Injuries & Death Common in Crane Accidents
Cranes are large and powerful because of the massive loads they are designed to handle, so accidents associated with cranes tend to be severe and often contribute to the oil and gas industry’s high fatality rate (a figure which was seven times higher than other industries between the years 2003 and 2010). Any of the following injuries can occur when crane loads are improperly rigged or too large for the machine, or when there is equipment failure and/or operator error:
- Head, neck, spine and/or back injuries, including paralysis or brain damage;
- Loss of limbs due to crushing forces;
- Broken or fractured bones and;
Crane Operators Play an Important Role in Safety
A crane operator is typically responsible for completing safety inspections of the crane in addition to strictly following all safety guidelines and procedures throughout the operation. They operator be required to perform maintenance tasks should an inspection reveal excessive wear, a defect or any other mechanical malfunction.
Crane operators must be properly trained and hold the appropriate license for their position. Depending on the situation in which the crane is used, OSHA provides specific guidelines to ensure their safe use. Crane operators who fail to adhere to any of OSHA’s requirements and cause an accident resulting in injury or death may be held liable for damages under The Jones Act or The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, depending on whether the accident has occurred on or offshore. Contact a lawyer for offshore injuries to see which claim you qualify for.
Improper Crane Operator Training Liability
Ensuring that all crane operators and others involved during the rigging and signaling process are properly qualified is the responsibility of the employer and/or oil company who hires contractors and/or subcontractors. Should an employer fail to complete the proper crane operator licensing checks, safety and operational training and competency of anyone working in or near a crane, they are likely to be held liable for damages should another team member be harmed as a result.
Although riggers and other entry-level workers may not be required to undergo a formal training program, it is the responsibility of the employer or supervisor to ensure that each worker has the ability and training to safely perform his or her role.
Crane Failure & Injury Caused by Product Defects
Cranes operating near water are exposed to particularly harsh situations and must be manufactured in such a way as to withstand extreme forces and conditions. If it can be shown that a safer product design exists for any component of a crane that has failed and resulted in an accident, the manufacturer may be held liable for damages under chapter 82 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code.
Even if the design flaw or manufacturing defect is only partially responsible for an injury or fatality, states with comparative fault laws (like Texas) allow the responsibility, and percentage of required compensation, to be shared among all liable parties.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer for Crane Accident Injuries
Call Baron & Budd at 866-974-0818 or complete our contact form today to schedule a free consultation with our legal team. We have helped thousands of victims injured at work recover damages and compensation for their suffering. Let our crane injury lawyers will fight hard to get you all the money you deserve after getting hurt on the job.