Crane Accident Risks, Causes, and Prevention
The construction injury has a reputation for accidents and danger. In addition to handling heavy loads, balancing on beams far above the ground, and working with dangerous hand tools, construction workers must also work with dangerous machinery—heavy machinery, such as cranes.
Cranes are used for heavy lifting and can make transporting large loads significantly easier for construction workers. Consequently, a significant number of construction sites rely on cranes to speed up and ease the work required. Unfortunately, as large, complicated pieces of machinery, these machines become extremely dangerous if certain safety precautions are ignored.
Causes of Crane-Related Deaths
According to the latest data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, 70 construction workers are killed each year in crane-related deaths. For statistical purposes, the term “crane-related” pertains to not only the physical operation of a crane, but also secondary crane accidents. For instance, if a crane dropped a load which then struck someone, the incident would be considered crane-related. Furthermore, accidents that were caused as a result of the crane’s presence (car struck a construction worker as he was getting down from a crane) can also be grouped into the crane-related category.
Most fatal crane accidents can be attributed to the following dangers:
- Electrocution by overhead power lines.
- Blunt force trauma from being struck by crane loads, booms, or jibs.
- Injuries resulting from falls from cranes, crane baskets, or crane loads.
- Crush injuries resulting from crane collapses.
Construction laborers made up the majority of crane-related deaths, but other occupations were not immune to the dangers. Other workers killed included heavy equipment operators, construction supervisors, ironworkers, mechanics, welders and cutters, electrical workers, sheet metal workers, and truck drivers.
While crane injuries can be caused by several specific factors, nearly all accidents have one thing in common: human error.
Preventing Deadly Texas Crane Accidents
While cranes present a very clear risk, proper use and maintenance can prevent a majority of the accidents that dominate the news. All too often, we hear about incidents caused by a crane that was being used improperly, whether it was set up incorrectly or was being used outside its operational limits.
The proper function of a crane is critical for maintaining a safe work environment, which is why there are stringent rules in place for construction cranes. If your worksite lacked crane-safety standards, and you were injured as a result, you may be able to hold your employer liable for your injuries. Safety standards in which your employer is obligated to uphold include:
- Restricting crane operation. Only trained and qualified personnel should be allowed to operate a crane.
- Labeling crane load limits. Cranes must clearly display the rated load on both sides of each individual hoist to avoid overloading and potential collapse.
- Training employees about crane clearance. Before operation, the area surrounding the crane must be cleared of debris and personnel. Each crane must have a 360-degree area of cleared space above and around it.
- Providing safe walkways around cranes. The areas around cranes cannot endanger employees’ safety when they are walking in the crane’s operational area.
Protection You Need to Lift You Up After a Crane Accident
One of the most devastating things a construction worker can realize is his Texas crane injury was caused by someone’s negligence, whether it was due to management, a coworker, or even the crane’s manufacturer.
If you have suffered a life-changing injury caused by a crane accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, pain, and suffering. Attorney Steve Lee is available to listen to your story, and help you determine if you have a case. Call today at 800-232-3711 for a FREE consultation, and find out how you can get the justice you need for your peace of mind.