Cranes are used on construction sites to move heavy objects. If not operated safely, they can be extremely dangerous. Crane accidents are a leading cause of serious injury and death in the construction industry. In fact, the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that there were 818 crane-related fatalities in the 10 year period between 1997 and 2006. The reasons for these accidents vary widely, from mechanical failures to user error. Fortunately, most crane accidents are easily preventable. The following information looks at common causes of crane accidents and how to prevent them.
How to Prevent Crane Accidents
Because of their sheer size, weight and height, cranes can be deadly when misused or poorly maintained. Crane collapses, which may occur when weight limits are ignored or the crane is placed on an unstable surface, often result in death. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the following conditions are crucial to the prevention of crane accidents:
- All crane operators and related workers must receive proper training.
- Crane equipment should be regularly maintained and inspected for the detection of equipment failures or defects.
- Cranes and loads must be properly rigged.
- Manufacturer-specified weight limits must be strictly observed.
- Crane assembly and disassembly must be closely supervised.
- Anyone working on or around a crane must be able to openly and effectively communicate with others working on or around the crane.
- Cranes must be placed on stable ground.
- Cranes must be a safe distance from power lines.
According to OSHA, nearly half of all overhead crane accidents occur when the crane makes contact with a power source. These accidents often result in the electrocution of anyone touching the crane when it comes into contact with a high-voltage power line. But even workers in close proximity to the crane can be seriously injured. In fact, nearly 200 workers die this way every year. A Boston work injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured on the job.
About 80 percent of all crane collapses can be attributed to overloading. When the crane’s operational capacity is exceeded, structural stress can result in structural failures and collapse. Swinging or suddenly dropping the load can also lead to collapse. Overloading is most often a direct result of human error, and can be prevented through proper training and supervision. Relying on instinct to determine whether a load is too heavy can lead to disaster. The use of load-measuring technologies can significantly reduce the risk of this potentially-deadly hazard.
Due to a crane’s extreme height, falling objects pose a deadly threat to lower-level workers. When materials are not properly secured, they can slip, pinching or crushing workers below. To prevent falling objects from causing serious injury or death, all loose materials should be properly secured. In addition, hoists should be regularly maintained and tested, to ensure that they are not hoisting excessively-heavy loads. A MA work injury lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you deserve if you’ve been injured on the job.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Top Construction-Related Injury Law Firm
If you have been injured in a construction-related accident, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of MA workers for more than 50 years. It is our goal to get you the compensation you deserve if you’ve been harmed due to another’s negligence. Workers’ compensation will likely cover your expenses and a portion of your lost wages if you’ve been injured on the job. However, application errors can result in delayed or reduced benefits. Not to mention, you may be entitled to additional compensation if negligence played a role in your accident. Don’t go through this difficult process alone. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.