A crane accident left two people dead by electrocution in a Southwest Houston oilfield on Tuesday afternoon. Early reports from the Houston Fire Department state that the victims were electrocuted when a live power wire fell on them after being knocked over by a crane on the Blue Ridge site. According to the homicide division of the Houston Police Department, both individuals were transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital Southwest, where they were later pronounced dead.
Crane Accident Statistics
Accidents like these are tragic because they usually involve severe negligence on the part of crane operators, supervisors, or other associated workers on the site. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that crane accidents cause nearly 90 fatalities in the United States every year. Almost one in three of all crane accident fatalities are caused by electrocution, which usually occurs when live power lines are brought down by improper or negligent handling of the equipment. Close to 39 percent of all fatal and non-fatal crane accidents involve electrocution.
Due to the inherent danger of these machines, OSHA has laid out strict guidelines regarding the care, maintenance, and operation of cranes. All crane operators must receive rigorous training and those responsible for maintaining and loading the vehicle are required to ensure proper upkeep and supervision. Failure to observe these guidelines could result in a tragic—and avoidable—workplace accident. Protecting the safety of on-site employees in operating dangerous machines should be the first priority of every supervisor.