Offshore Crane Accident Lawyers

Seek Answers & Accountability with Arnold & Itkin

Offshore cranes are indispensable tools in the maritime world, particularly within the oil and gas industry. Serving as the heavy lifters at sea, cranes are crucial for transferring equipment, supplies, and personnel between ships, drilling platforms, and other offshore structures. They play pivotal roles in the construction and decommissioning of offshore facilities, as well as in deep-sea operations where they assist in deploying and retrieving subsea equipment. 

With challenging marine conditions and the intricate tasks they perform, the operation of offshore cranes isn't without risks. Crane accidents pose a particular risk to deckhandsroustabouts, and roughnecks who work as riggers or assist in crane operations on offshore platforms, supply boats, or work boats in the Gulf of Mexico. Maritime and offshore workers can suffer head injuries, brain damagespinal injuriesback injuries, and permanent disabilities from crane accidents. 

If you or a loved one working offshore has suffered a serious injury in a crane accident, contact a knowledgeable maritime lawyer at Arnold & Itkin.   
We are committed to helping you get answers and support: (888) 346-5024.

Types of Offshore Cranes

Offshore cranes are built to withstand the hostile marine environment, with rugged designs resistant to saltwater, wind, and rough seas. Special coatings and materials are used to resist corrosion, and various safety features are incorporated to mitigate hazards, including overload indicators, advanced braking systems, and emergency cut-offs. Different types of offshore cranes are used to carry out various operations, depending on the task and location of the job. 

There are four main types of offshore cranes:

  • Knuckle Boom Cranes: With a jointed arm, these cranes can fold compactly, offering versatility for different tasks.
  • Lattice Boom Cranes: With a lightweight lattice structure, these are ideal for heavy lifting with their extended reach.
  • Telescopic Boom Cranes: These have a boom that can extend and retract, offering variable reach and compactness.
  • Pedestal Cranes: Mounted on a fixed pedestal, these rotate to serve a broad radius around the mounting point.

Offshore cranes come in different sizes depending on the load capacity, and they may run off electricity or diesel fuel.

Responsibilities of a Crane Operator

There are many different job titles and positions to fill to ensure the correct operation of any oil rig. As an important piece to the puzzle, a crane operator has many responsibilities on both onshore and offshore locations.

The responsibilities of a crane operator may include:

  • Maintaining crane equipment
  • Following safety procedures during operations
  • Annual crane inspections
  • Remaining available at all hours of the day to respond to emergencies

Offshore drilling sites can be extremely dangerous. Employers must provide crane operators with the training and support they need to do their jobs, and they must also train other workers how to act and move safely around cranes that are in operation. Moreover, crane manufacturers must ensure cranes are designed and manufactured without defects.

When crane operators or other offshore workers are injured, employers, manufacturers, and other parties can be held liable for their negligence or wrongful conduct. 

Taking a Closer Look at Offshore Crane Accidents

Crane accidents often stem from failures in components like the boom, cables, winches, slew ring, and rigging hardware. Some incidents arise from the incorrect assembly or disassembly of mobile cranes. Neglecting maintenance can result in mechanical failures, which might lead to severe injuries or fatalities due to snapped hoist lines or dropped loads. A significant number of crane accidents can be attributed to inadequate crew training or insufficient supervision. 

In years of analyzing maritime incidents in the Gulf of Mexico and throughout U.S. and international waters, we have found that offshore crane accidents often occur while workers are performing routine tasks such as drilling, construction, lifting of pipe, and coil tubing operations. Frequently, an offshore company's neglect of maintenance, lack of formalized training about the hazards of the work, and lack of supervision contribute to preventable crane accidents and injuries. With some accidents, a shortchange crew may be on duty at the time with maritime workers handling unfamiliar roles.

Riggers who attach and unhook loads and assist with crane operations suffer the most injuries in crane accidents. Riggers can be roustabouts, roughnecks, or deckhands on a work or supply boat or a platform. A rigger can be struck on the head by a boom or a swinging load or be pinned between a dropped load and a deck if a corroded hoist wire fails on a crane. The crane operator and the rigger must be trained to communicate properly to avoid accidents.

Oil and gas exploration companies, energy production companies, and offshore contractors are required by law to provide written reports detailing all incidents involving fatalities, injuries that require evacuation of an injured worker, fires and explosions, crane accidents, material handling accidents, and loss of well control. These reports can be used by a skilled offshore crane accident lawyer to build a compelling case of negligence on the part of an offshore employer.

Contact Our Offshore Crane Accident Attorneys

At Arnold & Itkin, we handle maritime law cases and Jones Act claims every day. We are aggressive advocates for injured offshore workers and their families in TexasLouisianaAlabamaMississippi, across the Gulf of Mexico, and nationwide. You want an aggressive trial lawyer who will stand up for your legal rights at the negotiating table and in the courtroom. You want a law firm with an established track record of obtaining substantial settlements and verdicts for clients. We are known as leaders in maritime law, and we have won more than $20 billion for our clients. We know how to get results.

To find out how an offshore crane accident attorney can help you, call (888) 346-5024 for a free consultation. We’re standing by to help.

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