In the wake of this month’s Houston crane collapse, the Austin American Statesman is reporting that Austin city council member Mike Martinez is asking the Austin City Council to draft an ordinance that would help alleviate the fears of a similar crance accident in Austin. Currently, neither Texas nor Austin have any regulations relating to the safety of crance operations. At a time when there are dozens of cranes dotting the Austin skyline, the safety for those cranes is left in the hands of the federal government.
But OSHA may not have the resources to ensure crane safety. The primary enforcement method is the random site inspection. But last year OSHA was only able to look at 23,000 sites nationally. That’s not a significant number when you considerr that there are over 4 million active construction sites utilizing a crane at any given time.
Oddly enough, one of the more important factors in safety may be personal injury lawyers. In this morning’s Statesman article, Mike Green, the president of Crocker Crane Rentals in Austin, stated:
I do my inspections not because the federal government or some local entity tells me to, but so I can sleep at night. If I am sued for an accident, I lose everything I’ve worked for all my life. I live safety night and day. Who has more on the line: me or the city?
For more information on crane accidents you can check out the Injuryboard Crane Accident Help Center or the Center for Construction Research and Training Crane Report