Crane Accidents: Common Causes

The construction industry is famous for dangerous situations that result in accidents, especially crane accidents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in transportation and material moving occupations and construction and extraction occupations accounted for nearly half of all fatal occupational injuries (47.4 percent), representing 1,282 and 976 workplace deaths, respectively.

Construction workers are tasked with handling heavy loads, balancing on top of high beams or scaffolds, and handling dangerous tools. These employees also work with heavy machinery like cranes. Cranes are used for lifting and transporting heavy materials or loads.

As a result, several construction sites rely on this machinery to speed up work and make things easier for workers. However, like most heavy equipment, cranes are prone to accidents. These occurrences can result in severe injuries for construction employees and sometimes death.

This article discusses the causes of crane accidents and shares tips on preventing these incidents. If you suffer an injury while working at a construction site, our workers’ compensation lawyers at Work Injury Rights can help you get your benefits. Contact us immediately.

Common Causes of Crane Accidents

Most crane accidents happen due to human error. So, while equipment failure does happen, negligence by crane operators or other workers causes accidents. This fault could be improper use, improper operation, improper rigging, and failure to follow established procedures.

Below, we discuss some of the common causes of crane accidents.

Electrical Hazards and Other Obstacles

The work site route is one risky area overlooked by employers and employees in the construction industry. Before crane operators move the machine, they should check the route to note obstacles and maintain minimum clearance from any power lines or obstacles. Failure to do this may result in an accident. Employers should appoint workers to inspect the route and de-energize power lines. Do the same to any power line or source near the work area.

Overloading Cranes

Another common cause of crane accidents is overloading the crane, improper loading, or high wind conditions. This often causes the machinery to fall or overturn. To prevent this accident, don’t exceed the crane’s maximum load capacity. Instead, follow the guideline for the lift’s configuration.

Properly place all loads in the center and use slings to secure them. In addition, use taglines to control the swing and rotation of the load. At the job site, check ground conditions for saturated soil or ground that is freezing or thawing. Skidding helps to spread out the ground loads for the extension of outriggers. Lastly, secure the area beneath and around the lift by taping it off.

High Winds

Winds play a key role in crane operations and accidents. The maximum wind speeds permissible vary due to the crane type and configuration. However, low winds are always good for lifts. So, monitor weather conditions frequently for any unexpected change.

This is because large gusts of winds can topple cranes or cause them to fall. Also, if there’s sudden inclement weather, stop operating the machine. Finally, all team members should follow proper procedures when operating the crane and while assembling and disassembling the equipment.

Lack of Proactivity, Teamwork, and Communication

Poor communication results in crane accidents. Team members must communicate and carry out their job functions without confusion. As an employer, ensure crane operators follow the proper procedures and are not complacent. Finally, crane operators should be proactive and work as a part of a unit and not individually.

Safety Tips for Crane Operation

There is no shortcut to safety, but employers and employees can take steps to reduce crane accidents at a construction site. Some safety tips for crane operation are:

  • Have a job plan for every work.
  • Use the right crane for the job.
  • Educate the workforce, and crane operators should be trained and licensed if required to operate a specific crane.
  • Follow maximum load capacity guidelines for each crane specification.
  • Make daily safety meetings a priority.
  • Carry out daily checks of the equipment and follow all applicable procedures for equipment operation.
  • Ensure ground conditions are acceptable and outriggers are set up effectively.
  • Use proper lockout and tag-out procedures for any equipment that is out of service.

Contact Florida’s Expert Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

One thing about accidents is that they happen irrespective of how careful you are and the safety procedures put in place. When they do, you may be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. Our work comp lawyers will examine your case to determine your eligibility for compensation and get your deserved benefits.

So were you injured in a workplace accident? Contact us at Work Injury Rights for a free initial consultation.