A recent crane collapse in Dallas, TX, that left a woman, who was in her apartment, dead, several others injured, and hundreds displaced, has triggered a local news station to dig further into what the city and state are doing to protect from these accidents in the future.
Local channel NBC5, which services the Dallas-Fort Worth Areas, launched an investigation into the current state of crane safety in their city and state. Dallas and the state of Texas have been in a construction boom for quite a while now and, by their count, there are 21 tower cranes currently standing in the city of Dallas alone.
As of 2018, Seattle, Washington lead all US cities with 65 active tower cranes, followed by Chicago, Los Angeles, and Portland. Seattle also recently suffered a tragic crane collapse that killed two civilians and two workers, when a crane that was actively being dismantled fell onto the open road below.
According to their research into the Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2011 to 2017, crane-related worker deaths in the state of Texas totaled 50. That’s more than triple the amount of deaths as compared to the next highest states, Florida and New York, which both total 16. California and Illinois follow with 14 fatalities apiece.
Despite the fact that several major US cities and states have enacted stricter crane regulations due to past incidents, the state of Texas and its major cities of Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston do nothing to regulate or monitor crane use throughout their areas, NBC5 found.
In February 2019, OSHA finally put a longstanding crane safety regulation into effect after years and years of delays. That regulation now requires crane operators to receive a formal training and pass an evaluation before being legally allowed to operate a crane. OSHA also requires periodic inspections to be performed on cranes to check for wear, deterioration, and malfunction, in addition to required annual inspection by a qualified person that must be documented and maintained for a minimum of 12 months.
The investigation has at least one Texas State Senator considering new state regulations for crane safety, but no specifics were offered.
Full story: Texas Leads Nation in Construction Crane Deaths, But Does Nothing to Prevent Them | NBC5 DFW