Maritime Crane and Cargo Accidents
Cranes are needed for the handling of cargo in the maritime industry. Since they frequently handle loads weighing hundreds or thousands of pounds, they’re also inherently dangerous. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, over 250,000 crane operators are at risk of serious, even fatal, injuries.
Operating or working around cargo cranes is a dangerous job because of the lifting, carrying, and transferring of heavy objects. Maritime crane accident risks are intensified due to:
- Lack of communication. Many serious cargo crane accidents are caused by miscommunication. Crane operators should be in radio contact with the workers responsible for loading and unloading cargo. This team of personnel should also learn a set of standardized hand gestures, just in case radio communication doesn’t work.
- Unsafe loads. Crane operators create hazards when they lift too much cargo, or when the cargo becomes unbalanced. A load that swings or rocks might cause the crane to collapse, or strike workers standing in its path.
- Inadequate maintenance or repairs. Lack of maintenance, an improper repair, or defective parts can all lead to the sudden collapse of a crane, or to the loss of control over cargo. Additionally, important components may fail due to breakage or rust, including:
When a crane accident occurs, the resulting injuries are frequently serious. Some of the most common types of cargo crane injuries suffered by seamen and dock workers include:
- Broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Crushed or severed limbs
- Traumatic brain injury
- Slipped, herniated, or bulging discs
- Spinal cord or nerve damage
You Need an Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a maritime crane accident, you need representation by an experienced maritime attorney who understands both the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.