Environmental Concerns for Crane Operators

Despite a slowdown in many industries this year, construction projects are going strong, with many redevelopment and new-build jobs underway. Crane operators often play a big role in these construction jobs, and the potential environmental impacts from this type of work can have devastating effects on jobsites and surrounding areas. From fuel/chemical releases to equipment accidents, this is a class of business that should have pollution coverage in place.

Check out some insurance claims involving crane operators:

  • A contractor was on a routine construction project at a small petrochemical refinery when equipment accidentally dropped by a crane ruptured a pipe, releasing thousands of pounds of noxious hydrofluoric acid into the air. The contractor was held liable for cleanup costs and payment of claims brought by thousands of local residents and business people who allegedly experienced respiratory distress as a result of the incident. The contractor was also found liable for business interruption and property damage losses. Damages exceeded $20 million.
  • A steel erection contractor accidentally caused a release of diesel fuel at a construction site when a crane operator dropped a steel beam. The beam landed on a small tanker truck that was brought onto the site to refuel other construction equipment. The cost of the emergency cleanup was in excess of $55,000.
  • During construction activities, a crane used to lift concrete barriers overturned. The accident ruptured the crane’s hydraulic hoses, spilling all its fluid onto the ground. The contractor was required to pay for cleanup costs arising from the spill.

Other recent news stories involving crane incidents, causing pollution:

Crane fire in New Jersey, leading to hydraulic oil spill
The five axle Grove GMK was reported to have suffered a fire in its engine compartment, which quickly spread along the hydraulic lines. A volume of hydraulic oil is said to have been spilled and the crane fire sparked a fire in the trees and roadside bushes.

Hazmat crews continue cleanup after crane, barge sink in Tennessee River
Crews are on the scene of a hazmat situation on the Tennessee River off Manufacturers Road, where a barge and crane partially sank. Crews deployed white and orange booms on the water to collect any chemicals from spreading downstream.

Barge With 600 Gallons of Diesel Sinks Off Galápagos Islands
The spill, which occurred after a crane toppled onto a barge, forced an emergency cleanup in one of the world’s most revered natural destinations.

For more information on crane operators or to discuss a specific account, please contact us.