Crane Accident Awareness: The Importance of Construction Safety

Safety is of primary concern on any construction site. This is especially true with major projects that implement several specialist subcontractors, such as crane operators. High rise projects like those in New York, for example, always include crane implementation to set heavy objects. Its the second story and higher workplaces that can result in fatalities in the event of an accident. Cranes are often a primary component of serious and deadly accidents in the construction industry.

It is important to remember that there are strict safety regulations in place regarding crane usage, and construction companies should always maintain constant adherence to these regulations through an effective employee safety program. However, while there are many companies working hard to put safety first for their crews, there are still some who do not maintain such a high focus on safety. One New York personal injury attorney says, “Worker safety is sometimes ignored at a construction site because the almighty dollar comes into play.”

In order for construction sites around the world to maintain high safety standards and train employees, there must be a continued effort to follow safety guidelines.

Operator Qualifications

The most important factor in crane operation is a certified operator who meets the requirements of the state of jurisdiction. Of course, crane accidents occur worldwide on a daily basis and many countries may not have the stringent safety requirements that are used in the United States. In the U.S., certification is administered by accredited crane operator training facilities and is normally funded by the crane company.

Individuals in training are also allowed to operate a crane under proper supervision, but the company assumes all responsibility for operator error. Operators of derricks or side booms similar to those utilized by railroad derail cleanup crews are not included in primary crane operator regulations. These crane operators are normally certified within the company or the proper governmental oversight agency, such as the Federal Railway Administration.

General Operations

Crane accidents involving personal injuries are always serious. Anyone involved in a crane accident and is not injured is a lucky individual. Crane operator helpers are required to wear safety helmets and other necessary equipment while on duty using the crane, but the protective devices are no match for a falling item. It is very important for the ground workers to comply with all attachment device regulations when the crane is beginning a hoist, as many crane accidents occur from insecure hookups. Additionally, cranes using super magnets to load or unload equipment should never have weight in excess of the magnet capacity.

High Price of Inadequate Crane Safety

Wrongful death is a common personal injury claim when accidents involve cranes. Crane operators are regularly required to climb the boom, as well as hook up items for lifting, so the danger of falling is as great as the danger of being struck by a falling object. Even a swinging boom can be problematic if a worker is struck when the boom is out of control, and maintaining a clear distance is not always easy when helpers are needed on the ground.

Injuries that do not result in death are also subject to great severity, which in turn means that compensation and personal injury awards will be very significant. Permanent disability is always a possibility for anyone working on the ground or suspended in air during crane operations. Seeking legal advice becomes a vital step in being made whole following a serious crane accident.

Since, more than 150 tower crane accidents have occurred in the United States and resulted in 115 deaths. That is a very significant indication of the risk involved for all workers in a construction crane environment. Some cranes were even known to tilt or suffer operational malfunction while in use, which can result in a serious accident even when all workers follow all safety regulations. 

Nicole Bailey-Covin, a veteran journalist, offers that it is important for anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in a crane accident to retain an experienced and effective personal injury attorney. Legal advice or tips can be found by searching New York personal injury attorney online before or after an accident.