Construction sites are dangerous places, there’s no doubt about that. And crane accidents are among the deadliest types of construction-related accidents. In fact, earlier this month, a worker died in a crane accident in Longwood Medical area of Boston. Improved technology has positively impacted productivity, but safety issues remain for workers on and around cranes. The information below will help you identify the leading causes of crane accidents and how to avoid them.
How Do Crane Accidents Occur?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified the leading causes of crane accidents. They include:
- Coming into contact with power lines
- Cranes overturning
- Falls from high places
- Mechanical failures
In addition to deadly crane accidents, there are countless minor crane accidents that result in lost wages and productivity, an increase in insurance costs, OSHA fines, and more. In fact, a 1997 OSHA study concluded that most crane accidents are non-fatal. It is likely that most of these minor accidents are never even reported. Contact a Massachusetts Work Injury Lawyer if you’ve suffered an on-the-job injury.
Tips for Preventing Crane Accidents
If you work on or around cranes in Massachusetts, the following tips will dramatically reduce your risk of being seriously harmed or killed in a crane accident.
- Assess: Assess for the potential of a crane accident and ensure that hazards are identified and remedied. This includes making sure the soil is properly prepared and that the crane is not in close proximity to power lines or underground pipelines.
- Establish: Each crane should have its own safety plan and a person should be assigned to ensure the safety plan is adhered to. In doing so, he or she must ensure that equipment is well-maintained and routinely inspected.
- Assign: A competent person should be assigned to oversee all crane operations.
- Train: It’s not enough to only train workers who spend significant time on or around cranes. Any personnel working near a crane for any amount of time, even if only repairing or assembling the crane, should be properly trained in lifting operations.
Following the above advice doesn’t eliminate the risk of working on or near cranes, but it significantly reduces that risk. In Boston and the surrounding areas, it’s hard to turn the corner without seeing a construction site. Employers should ensure the safety of their crew by providing proper safety gear and adequate training, and by keeping equipment in good working order. Continue reading