Cranes are used in both the manufacturing and construction industries where heavy loads are lifted over other objects or to great heights. When properly installed and used, they routinely perform their operations safely. When they aren’t, serious and fatal accidents can result because of the height and weight of their loads. In addition, their steel construction makes them electrical conductors. This means electrocution is possible when there are nearby power lines and electrical power sources.
Common Types of Accidents
- Power line contact. When a metal part of the crane contacts an electrical power source such as a power line, electrocution may occur to others in contact with the crane or its load. Therefore this danger isn’t limited to the operator alone and sometimes causes multiple deaths from a single electrical contact.
- Improper use of the crane. Catastrophic accidents may happen when lifting a load that exceeds the crane’s capacity. This often happens because of operator inexperience. The crane’s capacity may also be exceeded when overextending its boom while carrying a load. Pulling loads off to the side to move them across the ground subjects the crane to a side load. This may pull the wire rope out of its grooves and cause other damage. Cranes must only lift loads straight up or lower them straight down.
- Crane overturn. Improper crane installation, lifting excessive loads, and unstable or uneven ground are some of the reasons for cranes tipping over.
- Falls. Operators of cranes with elevated cabs such as tower cranes must climb a ladder. This exposes them to a fall risk every time they enter and leave the cab. Errors in judgment, improper climbing technique, windy conditions and other forms of bad weather can cause a fall.
- Mechanical failure. Improper crane installation or high winds are typical reasons for this problem. Boom collapse is a common mode of failure. In densely populated areas, mechanical failure of tower cranes can endanger the nearby populace.
- Falling loads. Improperly secured loads, load shifting, mechanical failure, and operator error are common reasons for dropping materials.
Crane accidents often happen because OSHA requirements were not followed. If you were injured in a crane-related or other type of construction accident and need assistance in getting adequate compensation to recover from your injuries, an Odessa workers’ comp attorney can help. For more information and a free consultation, contact us at CHILDS BISHOP & WHITE P.C.