Cranes are of vital importance to many industries, particularly offshore work, transport operations, and construction businesses. Widely publicized crane accidents in Houston, Miami, Las Vegas and New York have made people ever more aware of the potential dangers associated with cranes. In particular, these much-talked about cases have shown that it is not just workers and operators who are at risk, and the increased incidence of crane accidents is a problem that needs to be addressed.
There are currently no federal statutes regulating crane manufacturers or operators on appropriate crane maintenance. While cranes must comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards, there are no rules that require regular safety inspections. This is truly troubling, since proper and frequent crane safety inspections are necessary for preventing accidents, and can even decrease costs to operators by preventing problems and increasing efficiency. A proper crane inspection would include examination of all major mechanical components, full lubrication of all components, inspections of all connections, electrical adjustments to components such as limit switches, control systems and brakes and additional operational tests.
When companies involved in crane operations fail to conduct appropriate maintenance checks, terrible accidents can occur. Jason Itkin has handled several crane accident cases. In one crane injury case, Itkin's client was severely injured when the cab of the crane he was operating simply fell off, landing on the side of the dock on which it stood. The client actually fell out of the cab during the descent, landing in the water and sustaining injuries. Itkin says the accident was caused "when the bolts holding the crane landing to the high cab broke. If the crane had undergone appropriate maintenance checks, the strain on the bolts would have been noticed and the accident could have been prevented." Arnold & Itkin LLP's client received a settlement of over $1 million, a sum far exceeding the cost of routine safety inspections.
In the absence of mandatory safety regulations, crane operators routinely skip safety checks and preventative maintenance. With increasing frequency, this negligent practice is leading to costly and deadly accidents involving cranes. If you have been injured as a result of an incident involving a poorly maintained crane, an industrial injury lawyer from our firm could get you the compensation you need.
Contact an industrial injury lawyer from our team today for a free consultation.