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Seattle Crane Accident Lawyer

Colburn Law

On April 27, 2019, a crane collapsed in downtown Seattle causing the deaths of four people and injuring at least four others.  The crane accident occurred at Fairview Avenue North and Mercer Street when a tower crane working on a new Google campus fell. The four fatalities included two ironworkers who were in the tower crane and two people below in separate cards.  

Seattle Crane Collapse

According reports, the crane was being dismantled when it collapsed.  Safety rules and regulations concerning crane disassembly found at WAC 296-155-53402, Crane Assembly and Crane Disassembly will be important to determining the cause and fault for the crane collapse.

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has started an investigation as to the cause of the crane accident.  The general contractor on the project is GLY Construction.

Crane Accident Statistics

According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2011 to 2015, a reported 220 total crane-related deaths occurred which equaled an average of 44 crane accident fatalities per year.  In recent years, there have only been two crane accidents in Seattle, including a 2017 crane collapse in Belltown.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the major causes of crane accidents include:

  • boom or crane contact with energized power lines
  • under the hook lifting device
  • overturned cranes
  • dropped loads
  • boom collapse
  • crushing by the counter weight
  • outrigger use, falls, and rigging failure

Cranes and Safety Rules

Construction cranes in Seattle are subject to federal safety regulations as well as state regulations for crane safety.

OSHA’s regulations governing construction cranes are found at 29 CFR 1926, Subpart CC.  Safety standards for cranes include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Inspection of tower crane parts before erection
  • Synthetic slings must be used pursuant to manufacturer’s instructions at all times
  • Ground conditions must be assessed for safety and hazards
  • Crane operators must be properly trained, qualified, and certified.
  • State construction site plans must include safety and health standards that are more safety conscious than comparable federal crane standards.

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Division of Occupational Safety and Health certifies cranes used in the construction industry.  The purpose of the certification process is to ensure that crane operators meet established minimum guidelines to become qualified to operate cranes.  Safety regulations intended to prevent crane accidents include:

Crane Accident Injuries

Safety rules and regulations governing the operation of cranes in Seattle and throughout Washington State are vitally important because when a crane collapses or a crane fails, the consequences can be dire, including:

Contact Colburn Law Today

If you or a loved one was injured by a crane collapse, you need to Contact Colburn Law today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.  Colburn Law has represents many individuals injuries in construction site accidents in Seattle.