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Steven M. Lee, PC

Collapsing Cranes are a Sad Nationwide Trend

Houston Attorney Steve Lee has been providing aggressive legal counsel for Houston injury victims for three decades. A significant area of his practice is helping those who have been injured in construction accidents in Houston. He has helped those who have been injured on the job receive fair compensation from workers’ compensation insurance companies, contractors who were negligent, and managers of off shore drilling platforms. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job in Houston, and you feel that your needs are not being met by your employer or insurance company, contact Houston Attorney Steve Lee for a free legal consultation today. 

 

Our city is always re-defining itself, and construction of new buildings is constant. Since Houston is one of the largest metropolitan areas in Texas, construction occurs here at a very fast pace. High traffic levels cause roads to be repaved. Developers are constantly putting up new buildings, while owners are renovating the old ones.

Anyone who lives in Houston is familiar with the presence of construction cranes. Over the past few months, it seems that there has been an epidemic of these enormous machines collapsing, causing deaths, injuries, and millions of dollars worth of property damage. While several of these collapses have occurred in New York, there have also been crane collapses all over the country. What is the cause of these collapses? Can anything be done to prevent further collapses? And what legal options do the victims and their families have?

Collapse Epidemic

Since 2008 began, there have been two separate crane collapses that have lead to nine deaths in New York City. The first collapse happened in March, where six construction workers and one tourist were killed. The second collapse happened in late May, and the end result there was the death of two construction workers.

It isn’t just New York where workers or innocent bystanders are being hurt or killed by crane accidents. South Florida has had an unbelievable FIVE crane accidents that have resulted in two deaths and eight serious injuries. On June 2nd, two Baltimore workers were trapped in a crane collapse. On June 12th, a crane accident in Dallas killed a man who was working on the new stadium for the Cowboys. In early June, a construction worker in Las Vegas was crushed to death by a crane at the construction site for the new MGM Mirage. And on June 1st, three coal miners were injured in a crane collapse in Wyoming.

While the investigations into each of these collapses will take months, an initial look at how these cranes are managed, operated, maintained and regulated leaves much to be desired.  

A Lack of Standards, Licensing and Supervision

The sad truth is that most states don’t have training or licensing requirements for crane operators. This means that there are no standards for anyone who operates these enormous and dangerous machines. Many states also don’t even bother to keep track of the number of cranes that are operating within their borders, or even keep track of maintenance records of any of the cranes. Considering the size of these machines, it is almost an inevitability that adjacent properties will get damaged and innocent people will be hurt.

On the Federal level, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hasn’t updated its crane standards since 1971. And the numbers of inspectors that enforce these crane standards are not only too few to be effective, but many of them are unable to issue a stop work order that could possibly save lives. In all, the standards are ineffective, and this puts lives at risk.

Attorney Steve Lee lives in Houston just like you do. He takes construction accidents very seriously, as the people who get injured could be family, neighbors or friends. It is Steve’s job to see that his clients are treated fairly by contractors and insurance companies, which means that he always strives to obtain the highest level of compensation for them.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Houston construction accident, contact the law offices of Steve Lee for a free legal consultation today.


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