Crane accidents of all types occur throughout the United States.  Since cranes are such large pieces of machinery, and they often hoist very heavy materials, crane accidents often result in death or serious bodily injury. Employers of construction companies that work with large contruction cranes are required by the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration to ensure that the operators of the crane are properly trained and licensed by the state. The crane operators must also comply with all crane maintenance, crane assembly, inspections, load capacity, and use proper warning signs to ensure safety.

What Are Common Causes of Crane Accidents?

There are several causes of crane accidents, including the following: 

  • Improper maintenance
  • Mechanical failure
  • Crane assembly or disassembly
  • Inadequate worker and operator training
  • Dropped loads
  • Swinging loads
  • Improper load capacity

Who Is Liable In a Crane Accident?

Crane accidents usually are caused by the failure of the crane operators exercising reasonable care on the construction site when operating the crane. The majority of crane accidents are caused by the operator error. If the crane operator was at fault for the accident, liability is directly on the company that employed the crane operator and also on the parties that trained the crane operator. If the accident occurred due to worker carelessness or improper warnings, the construction site may be liable. The party which controls or owns the crane may also control liability. Since construction companies often contract and sub-contract aspects of a job, responsibility for the accident may lie with one of those sub-companies.

How Can Crane Accidents Be Prevented?

Some methods for helping reduce and prevent crane accidents include: 

  • Having a written maintenance schedule, which includes inspections of all cranes
  • Training all employees on crane safety
  • Ensuring cranes are adequate to lift loads
  • Ensuring loads are adequately rigged
  • Emphasizing the importance of planning, communication, and worker coordination

Do You Need a Lawyer?

If you believe you have a construction injury claim contact a personal injury attorney to learn about your legal rights and the complicated legal system.  Remember that there are deadlines set in the law, so waiting too long could result in you losing your ability to bring a claim or defend yourself.  If a complaint has been brought against you, contact a civil defense attorney to learn about your legal defenses and rights.