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Crane Accident Lawyer

Have you been injured in a crane accident?

According to estimates by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) there are, on average, almost 90 crane accident related fatalities each year in the US. Of these fatalities, 32% are caused when crane operators are struck by a heavy load and 27% occur are due to electrocution when the crane comes in contact with a live power line. The remaining deaths occur as a result of crane boom or cable failure, tipping over or overturning of the crane, and falls.

Some of the most common causes of crane accidents include the following:

  • Electrocution – A majority of crane accidents (close to 39%) are caused by electrocution. Crane booms, cables, or other parts can come into contact with a live power line while under operation, electrocuting the operator.

  • Accidents During Crane Assembly / Disassembly - Crane assembly and disassembly must be done according to the manufacturer's specifications. Before operation, tests must be performed to gauge the stability of the crane. Failure to do this can cause accidents and can often be traced to lack of proper communication among the workers involved in the procedure or human error at any point in the procedure. Crane assembly and disassembly related accidents account for about 12% of all crane accidents.

  • Crane Boom Collapse Accidents – Extending the crane boom beyond manufacturer's specifications can affect the crane's capacity to carry loads and can lead to tremendous pressure on mechanical, hydraulic, and structural components of the crane. The crane boom can collapse, injuring operators and workers standing below. Crane boom buckling or collapse related accidents make up about 8% of crane accidents.

  • Crane Tip Over - Crane tipping occurs when there is overloading beyond the crane's capacity, or when ground conditions are unstable or uneven, causing the crane to tip over or collapse.

  • Inadequate Crane Operator Training - Insufficient training is both a primary and secondary cause in crane accidents. The operator is required to recognize when the crane has reached its maximum loading point and whether conditions on the ground are ideal for hoisting activities.

  • Crane Load Accidents - Workers who are within the swing radius of an operating crane can be struck by loads causing injuries. Employers are required to barricade the area and train workers about the hazards involved in entering the area when a crane is in operation.

  • Fall Accidents – Wind conditions or an unstable platform can lead to a fall accident, particularly for operators of tower cranes who must climb extensive ladder systems to reach the crane operator cab. Employers are required to provide proper safety belts and harnesses and make arrangements for adequate guardrails and secured steps at the site, to prevent crane operators from experiencing serious or fatal falls.

Types of Crane Accidents

Construction zones are among the most hazardous of all working environments. When the construction involves the use of cranes (which most all do), the hazards can increase significantly. There are many types of cranes that can be used on site a construction area. As such, there are an equal number of types of crane accidents that can seriously injure if not kill those working in and around the construction site. Some of the most common types of crane accidents include:

  • Crane Collapse Accidents – Towering over building infrastructures, bridge supports, and the like, when a crane collapses it often falls directly on top of the building on which it was being used to work. Crushing not only the building itself, crane collapses also endanger the lives of crewmembers working onsite, as well as passersby.

  • Crawler Crane Accidents – Crawler cranes are mounted on top of an undercarriage. The machines have a set of tracks, or crawlers, that allow them to move and lift thousands of tons of weight. A disadvantage to these cranes is their weight. Crawler cranes are extremely heavy and consequently cannot be easily moved from one place to another, nor can they be easily lifted or overturned when flipped in an accident.

  • Mobile Crane Accidents – Cranes that are mounted on top of a truck carrier are mobile cranes. These often consist of two parts: the lower and upper. The carrier of the crane is referred to as the lower and the lifting component, including the boom, is referred to as the upper.

  • Tower Crane Accidents – Tower cranes are a modern version of the balance crane and are used to work at high levels of construction. Most often, these cranes are fixed to the ground by a concrete slab and then used to work at extreme heights. Unfortunately, working at these altitudes can be windy, causing the crane to fall. The collapse of a tower crane can wreck the site it was working on and seriously injure or kill all those around the area as well.

This is only a small sampling of the many types of cranes and accidents that could cause damage and personal harm to others. Other types of cranes that could be involved in an accident include the following:

  • Aerial Cranes
  • All-Terrain Cranes
  • Bulk-Handling Cranes
  • Carry Deck Cranes
  • Deck Cranes
  • Fixed Cranes
  • Floating Cranes
  • Gantry Cranes
  • Hammerhead Cranes
  • Jib Cranes
  • Level Luffing Cranes
  • Loader Cranes
  • Overhead Cranes
  • Pick-and-Carry Cranes
  • Railroad Cranes
  • Self-Erecting Cranes
  • Sidelift Cranes
  • Stacker Cranes
  • Telescopic Cranes
  • Telescopic Handler Cranes

Prevention of Crane Accidents

OSHA requires that a number of conditions be met for the prevention of crane accidents. These include the proper training of crane operators and related workers, the regular maintenance of crane equipment, and roper rigging of cranes and loads. It also requires to strictly observe and respect the load capacity of a crane, according to manufacturer's specifications, as well as supervising the crane assembly and disassembly procedures. Finally, it requires maintaining open communication lines among the various operators, supervisors, and workers involved in crane operations.

If all of these are not followed, however, and you have suffered from a preventable crane accident, it is in your best interests to consult with an experienced industrial accident attorney from the legal team at Arnold & Itkin LLP as soon as possible. With a full-bodied understanding of personal injury law, we have proven time and time again that we can be counted on to provide our clients with the high-quality level of experience that they can rely upon.

If you were injured in a crane accident, do not hesitate to contact a crane accident lawyer from our legal team today.

Client's portion of total recovery may be subject to Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement claims, Medicare/Medicaid liens or other third-party claims or liens. These verdicts and settlements are intended to be representative of cases handled by Arnold & Itkin, LLP. These listings are not a guarantee or prediction of the outcome of any other claims.

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