A crane collision at an Austin, Texas, construction site Wednesday morning injured at least 22 workers. The crash involved two cranes.

Capt. Darren Noak, Spokesman for Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services (ATCEMS), told reporters that the “crane vs. crane” collision resulted in 16 of the 22 injured workers being taken to hospitals for treatment. None of the injuries were considered life-threatening. Some of the workers who were on site at the time refused medical treatment, according to Austin’s KVUE.

The crane accident occurred about 10:38 a.m. at the construction site of a six-story office building and parking garage in the Mueller community in northeastern Austin.

The collision left the two 150-foot cranes entangled. Engineers were called to the site to figure out how to separate the twisted metal.

Cadence McShane, an Addison, Texas-based construction company that operated the cranes involved in Wednesday’s collision, had some previous safety violations on record, according to KVUE.

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the company was fined thousands of dollars in 2013 and in 2017 for violations the agency considered “serious.” OSHA records for the 2017 penalty say that “on Aug. 9, 2017, an employee was moving a concrete slab. The employee was crushed when the rigging being used failed and the concrete slab fell on top of the employee.

Wednesday’s crane accident caused no fatalities, but crane work occasionally turns deadly if all safety precautions aren’t met. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas led the nation in the number of on-the-job deaths caused by cranes with 50 deaths reported from 2011 to 2017 – more than the next three states combined: Florida (16), New York (16), and California (14).

According to OSHA, 43% of fatal crane accidents occurred in the private construction industry. Specialty trade contractors and heavy and civil engineering construction had the most fatal injuries involving cranes in private construction.

Workplace injury lawyers

Beasley Allen handles a variety of cases related to workplace safety, including situations similar to this. While all workers should be guaranteed a safe working environment, all too often we handle cases of serious injuries and deaths resulting from a hazardous work environment. Many times our investigation reveals defective or dangerous machinery was involved, or employers failed to provide adequate protections or ignored safety regulations. If you need more information, contact Kendall Dunson or Evan Allen, lawyers in our Personal Injury & Products Liability Section who handle workplace litigation for our firm.

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