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Fatal Texas Crane Collapse

Posted on December 26, 2019

This past summer, a Bigge Crane and Rigging Co. (Bigge) crane collapsed, striking Dallas apartment building Elan City Lights. The incident killed one resident, injured several others, and displaced hundreds. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation into this fatal crane collapse led the federal agency to cite Bigge for two alleged serious violations. The crane owner faces proposed fines totaling $26,520 as a result.

After receiving notification of the fines, Bigge has 15 business days to respond by: 1) paying the fines, 2) meeting with OSHA officials to reach an alternative agreement, or 3) formally contesting the citations before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, which is independent of OSHA.

Initial findings show Bigge failed to follow manufacturer guidelines for the inspection and care of bolts on the Dallas crane at issue. Specifically, the citation states the company failed to follow the appropriate instructions to remove rusty bolts, address the decay of structural tower members, inspect the crane for loose bolts, and inspect turntable and tower bolts for proper condition and torque on an annual basis.

Statistics from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics show the United States suffers nearly 90 crane-related deaths per year. Texas leads the nation in fatal crane accidents, with almost as many crane-related deaths as the next four states combined. This Dallas crane collapse was the ninth crane fatality in North Texas since 2012.

Causes of Crane Collapse

Many construction projects require the use of cranes; however, if a crane isn’t properly secured it can collapse, potentially causing serious property damage and physical injuries. Some of the most common causes of a crane collapse include:

  • Failure to stabilize the crane
  • Failure to fully appreciate and understand worksite conditions
  • Improper employee training
  • Failure to inspect, maintain, and repair the crane
  • Improper crane assembly
  • Operator error
  • Failure to position the crane in a safe location
  • High winds and other inclement weather
  • Failure to follow weight limit guidelines

Crane Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one has injuries from a crane accident, our workplace injury attorneys can help. Craft Law Firm has experience handling crane accident claims and knows how to hold the responsible parties liable for your damages. We can help your family recover damages, so contact us today for a free consultation.