Crane Accidents: More Common Than You Think

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You don’t have to be a construction worker to encounter a crane accident. Crane accidents can affect pedestrians around a construction zone, as well as workers on or near the site, or someone in a home or building at the time of impact when a crane collapses straight down or off to the side. A crane accident can happen in an instant. One minute you see the neck of the crane, the next minute—nothing. Construction workers generally know about the hazards of working at a construction site and should follow the rules and regulations for dealing with heavy equipment they use on a daily basis. But, what about the average pedestrian walking in the area, or someone watching television inside their home?

Projects involving the use of cranes have led to tougher regulations that must be followed in certain conditions, including specific plans of the project and intensive operator training. Yet, accidents continue to happen in and around New York and surrounding areas of industry and commerce. Crane accidents are caused by many factors, and here are a few of the mishaps that can occur:

  • The neck of the crane collapses due to improper weight or unsteady navigation.
  • A part of the crane snaps from imbalance.
  • Construction companies continue to use of cranes that may have been previously cited for improper use.
  • The construction company exhibits nonconformance to zoning rules within a certain area.
  • The construction company does not insist that workers enroll in safety classes and mandated certification to perform their jobs.
  • Items that are not secured could fall off the crane.
    Parts of the neck could buckle due to flaws in the design of the crane.
  • Employee may be working in conditions where a crane might not hold up, such as extreme rain or wind.
  • The crane lacks overall proper maintenance, and performs at a substandard level for the task.
  • Employees and contractors are overworked, thereby operating under fatigue or long hours.
  • The crane is operating on an unstable platform.
  • The company engages in improper hiring practices by employing a contractor who may not be properly licensed or certified.

As evidenced by the situations above, it is clear that safe crane operation becomes even more imperative for construction companies in an effort to do their best to promote and practice safety on their jobsites and to those surrounding the jobsite.

If you or someone you know has been injured, or died, as a result of an accident involving the malfunction or operator error of a crane, the aftermath can be devastating. Collapsed cranes can lead to criminal charges and subsequent trials, employee compensation, lengthy investigations, manslaughter charges, death of one or more parties, and many more unforeseeable circumstances. Seeking the professional counsel of a law firm who has experience with personal injury cases involving heavy equipment is your first step.