The following is the percentage of fatal crane accidents broken down by category by primary cause:
- 40% of crane accidents are caused by the crane coming into contact with power lines and electrocuting the crane operator as well as nearby workers
- 15% of crane accidents are caused by the crane overturning cranes often overturn because the load is not secured properly, the load weight exceeds the maximum load weight of the crane, or the crane is not placed on level ground
- 12% of crane accidents are caused by improper assembly or disassembly – improper assembly or disassembly is often due to a lack of communication and human error
- 10% of crane accidents are caused by a lack of communication between the crane operator and other workers – often the crane operator is a distance from the work site or is not in full and direct view of the work site
- 7% of crane accidents are caused by crane malfunction
- 3% of crane accidents are caused by a lack of training ¿ although improper training ranked very low as a primary cause for crane accidents, it has been found to be a major secondary factor in many crane accidents
What Factors Might Reduce the Risk of a Crane Accident?
Taking the following precautions reduce the risk of a crane accident occurring:
- Properly training crane operators and other personnel
- Conduct complete crane inspections
- Having an effective preventive maintenance program
- Not exceeding the maximum lift load capacity of the crane
- Properly rigging the loads to the crane
- Proper communication between the crane operator and workers in the vicinity
- Proper communication when assembling or disassembling the crane
- Supervision of all aspects of crane operation, from assembly to disassembly
What Organizations Regulates Use of Cranes?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintain a variety of measures that govern the use of cranes.
What Regulations Exist Regarding Crane Use?
OSHA requires crane operators to be 18 years of age or older and to be properly trained. OSHA has specific training requirements that the crane operator must satisfy. The specific training requirements vary depending on the type of crane the crane operator is using. OSHA also has detailed industry standards describing crane design, crane labeling, and crane inspection.
Are There Remedies for Those Injured in a Crane Accident?
A person who is injured in a crane accident may have a personal injury claim based on an intentional tort, or negligence. An employee who is injured in a crane accident may have a personal injury claim based on workers compensation.
Should I Consult a Construction Attorney?
Crane accidents are complex. Success in these cases requires a thorough knowledge of the construction industry. An experienced construction attorney or personal injury attorney can help a victim of a crane accident to determine what legal course of action might be available. In addition, an attorney can help with the discovery process to see what safety measures were being undertaken by the employer and if those precautions met OSHA or State law.