Cranes are essential for completing construction-related tasks that would otherwise be impossible. However, these massive machines pose a significant hazard to operators, construction workers, and the general population.
In this two-part series, we will be discussing common crane accidents and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations implemented to mitigate crane-related injuries. If you are ever concerned with providing your workers with a safe work environment or remaining compliant with OSHA standards, consult with an OSHA defense attorney.
Fatal Crane Injuries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 220 crane-related deaths from 2011 to 2015 in the United States, 42 percent being in the private construction industry. Over half of these fatal injuries occurred when a worker was struck by an object, and 69 deaths occurred when a worker was struck by a falling object. The crane operator is the fatally injured worker in 22 percent of these cases. For this reason, crane operators must undergo additional training, as we’ll discuss in part two.
The Major Causes of Crane Accidents
The major causes of crane accidents involve the following:
- Struck by an object/equipment
- Transportation incidents
- Falls to a lower level
- Contact with energized power lines
- Lifting device failure
- Dropped loads
- Boom collapse
- Crushed by the counterweight
- Outrigger failure
- Rigging failure
Many fatal crane accidents are freak accidents, but many more can be mitigated by preventative measures. Ensuring that loads are within limits, properly secured, and as close to the crane and ground as is reasonably safe could mean the difference between life and death on your jobsite. Always ensure that your workers wear a personal fall arrest system when needed, are aware of risks, and are a safe distance away from a crane in use.
In part two, we will be discussing OSHA’s response to the grim statistics above which includes a final rule and recently imposed licensing requirements for crane operators. Failure to abide by these rules could result in a fatal injury on your jobsite and an OSHA inspection. For aid with lawfully preventing crane accidents on your jobsite, consult with an OSHA defense attorney.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.