The last few months I have noticed a significant number of crane accidents around the nation. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration should really take the lead in this area to ensure training for crane operators coincides with changes in the industry as cranes become larger and the loads heavier. Currently about 80 workers die each year from crane related accidents, according to OSHA.
The latest crane accident was this past Saturday in Wyoming when 3 people were injured after a crane collapsed while trying to move pipe across a rail line. The crane weighed around 2.7 million pounds and was described as one of the world’s largest cranes. Luckily no one died from the collapse, but the rail line was temporarily closed until late Saturday night as railroad crews removed debris.
On June 1, 2008, a crane collapsed in the Upper East Side of Manhattan killing two and injuring another. The Manhattan’s District Attorney has opened a criminal investigation into the accident because investigators believe the crane was the same crane damaged last year during another project. The investigators are probing into who repaired the crane and how it was allowed back into service.
In a previous crane accident on March 15, 2008, seven people were killed and several buildings damaged in Manhattan’s Turtle Bay. That accident led to the arrest of a crane inspector, who had certified the crane just days before the crane crashed to the ground, and the resignation of then Department of Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster.
For more information on crane accidents check out www.craneaccidents.com.