Construction sites can be home to countless severe accidents and injuries. From those involving the failure of safety gear to those centering on toxic exposure, construction workers are in danger of serious accidents and death on nearly every shift. The most devastating category of injuries, however, involves the use of heavy equipment.
Cranes are often the most recognizable pieces of equipment on a construction site. Often towering over the site itself, drivers and pedestrians are likely to stop and watch the activity happening often dozens of stories in the air. Unfortunately, when tragedy strikes, both workers and onlookers can suffer significant injuries.
Here are the four most common causes of crane accidents.
- Crane tipping due to improper outrigger use. Stability is crucial to crane safety. When an outrigger pad is positioned on unlevel, wet or otherwise unstable surfaces, the company risks the inability to control crane positioning. Unsuitable ground conditions can include the presence of depressions, voids, uneven grading or excavations.
- Dropped loads due to improper rigging. Cranes are relied upon for controlled lifts of heavy, awkward or unbalanced loads. Often, the needs of the job might require maneuvering an oversized item. When prepping the load for lift, however, failed rigging often arises from human error. These errors can result from improper adherence to procedures to the utilization of faulty parts.
- Boom collapsing due to improper weight calculations. It is not uncommon for workers to feel the stress of a tight deadline. Additionally, they might believe their personal skill might overcome anything that could fall outside the stated safety parameters of the equipment being used. Weight restrictions exist on cranes for a reason and they should be followed to the letter.
- Electrocutions due to overhead power lines. More and more communities are moving toward underground power lines. However, there are still many areas that rely on overhead cables. Before starting a project of any scope, it is crucial that the location of all overhead power lines is identified and marked.
Construction workers face the danger of accidents at nearly every turn. They must remain aware of their surroundings and educated on proper safety precautions to avoid serious injuries. If you were injured or you have lost a loved one in a crane accident, it is wise to discuss your options for monetary compensation with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.