Cranes are machines, generally equipped with a hoist rope, wire ropes or chains, and sheaves, that can be used both to lift and lower materials and to move them horizontally. Put another way, cranes are used to lift and move heavy objects. Since cranes are used to lift and move heavy objects, they can be extremely dangerous if not operated safely.
Crane Accident Statistics
The most recent data on crane accidents from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is from 2011 to 2017. During that period of time, there were 297 fatalities caused by crane accidents.
Just over half of all fatal crane injuries involved the worker being struck by an object or equipment. About three-fifths of these cases (91 of 154) involved the worker being struck by a falling object or equipment; in 79 of these cases, the worker was struck by an object falling from or put in motion by a crane. Transportation incidents and falls to a lower level each made up about 13 and 14 percent of the remaining fatal injuries involving cranes, respectively.
43 percent of fatal work injuries involving cranes took place in the private construction industry. Specialty trade contractors and heavy and civil engineering construction had the most fatal injuries involving cranes in private construction. The manufacturing industry accounted for another 24 percent of crane deaths.
Texas had more fatal crane-related deaths—more than Florida, New York, and California combined:
Fatal occupational injuries involving cranes by state, 2011–17
|State of incident
||Number of fatal injuries involving cranes
Crane accident fatalities occur for a variety of reasons. Workers or bystanders who are struck by something that falls from the cranes are often the cause of fatalities. Other causes include being run over by a crane, falling from a crane, and electrocution.
What are some reasons crane accidents happen?
Common causes of crane accidents include improper maintenance, bad weather, and operator error. In some cases, the accident is caused by a combination of factors. For example, a crane that is not properly maintained may be more likely to break down in bad weather, leading to an accident. Or an operator who is not properly trained may make a mistake that leads to an accident. Regardless of the cause, crane accidents can be devastating. They can cause property damage, injuries, and even death. If you have been involved in a crane accident, it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer to understand your rights and options.
Who Investigates Crane Accidents?
Every year, crane accidents result in injuries and fatalities across the United States. In many cases, these accidents could have been prevented with proper safety precautions. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigates crane accidents to determine the cause and prevent future incidents. OSHA investigators typically review the scene of the accident, interview witnesses, and review company records. Based on their findings, they may issue citations or make recommendations for safety improvements. By holding employers accountable for unsafe conditions, OSHA plays an important role in preventing crane accidents and protecting workers.
Injured in a Crane Accident?
If you or a loved one have been injured in a crane accident, there are certain steps you should take in order to protect your rights. First, it is important to seek medical attention for your injuries. This will not only ensure that you receive the treatment you need, but it will also create a record of your injuries. Next, you should contact an experienced crane accident attorney at Morrow & Sheppard LLP who can help you navigate the legal process. Finally, it is important to keep all documentation related to the accident, including medical records and documentation of any lost wages. By taking these steps, you can help protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.