As many will already know a massive crane collapse on Friday
left four workers dead. Yet another to add to the growing list of fatal crane
accidents that have occurred over the last several months. The accident
happened when the massive 30–story crane collapsed at the Lyondell oil
refinery, in SE Houston. The terrible accident took four lives and left seven
more injured. Federal investigators began their investigation of the accident
The crane owners, Deep South Crane and Rigging of Baton
Rouge, has expressed sympathy and sorrow over the loss, and has said that they
are committed to making sure that this type of terrible tragedy never happens
The company has released the names of those workers that
were killed in the accident. The four workers who lost their lives were Marion
“Scooter” Hubert Odom III, 41, of Highlands; John D. Henry, 33, of
Dayton; Daniel “DJ” Lee Johnson, 30, of Dayton; and Rocky Dale Strength,
30, of Santa Fe, Texas.
This tragic accident should strengthen the case for greater
regulations for crane operators and general crane safety. Scrutiny of crane
safety has been on the rise in the recent months following the catastrophic
crane collapse in Manhattan that claimed seven lives. Fatal accidents have also
recently taken place in Miami and Las Vegas.
Although many states regulate crane operation, Texas does
not. Texas lead the nation in crane-related fatalities, with 26, in 2005 and
2006, and despite these shocking numbers does not require crane operators to
even be licensed. This is an issue that must be addressed. The lack of local
and state regulations leaves crane safety up to federal regulations that have
not kept up with technological advances, to say the least.
Hopefully this heartbreaking tragedy will help to create the
awareness that is needed to enact long overdue crane regulations to ensure that
these types of tragedies are avoided in the future.