Silhouette of engineer and safety officer looking construction worker pouring a concrete column on scaffolding in construction site

Understanding Crane Accidents

Construction sites tend to be very dangerous due to the heavy equipment often found there. This equipment includes huge cranes. Tower cranes and overhead cranes are often found on construction sites, particularly those for skyscrapers and other tall buildings.

Cranes can be useful and have many benefits, but they can also be deadly if not maintained or operated properly. If they fall over or are handled incorrectly, they can cause serious injuries and even death.

Between 2011 and 2015, 220 people were killed in crane accidents in the United States. This is an average of 44 people per year. Nearly all fatalities—217—were men. Nearly three-quarters of the victims were white. 42% of these fatal accidents took place in the private construction industry. 24% of these deaths took place in the manufacturing industry. One-third of the deaths occurred in the material moving and transportation industries.

Common Causes of Crane Accidents

Crane accidents happen in several ways. Between 2011 and 2015, more than half of fatal accidents occurred when the victim was struck by the equipment—most commonly, a falling object or the crane itself toppling over. Other causes include mechanical failures, hook failure, improper rigging, overturning, collisions with power lines and other buildings, debris, unsafe conditions, and inclement weather. Most accidents are caused by human error; therefore, improper setup and use ranks high on the list.

Crane Accident Prevention

There are many things a person can do to operate a crane safely. Inspecting a crane before use is always a good idea. This helps ensure all parts are working properly.

The next stage is planning. Creating, communicating, and implementing a plan can help prevent accidents. It is also crucial that the crane is a on a solid, level surface. This makes it stable and less likely to tip over.

It is also important for crane operators to stay alert and focused. Intoxication, distraction, and other factors can lead to human error.

Who is Liable for a Crane Accident?

Liability in a crane accident depends on the circumstances. Most accidents are caused by negligence and product liability issues. In many cases, the crane operator is at fault. However, if the operator was an employee who was not properly trained, the employer could be at fault. If the accident was caused by a defective product or maintenance issue, then the manufacturer or maintenance worker could be held responsible. In certain cases, the project manager, architect, or engineer could also be held liable, particularly if they poorly managed the project and created a dangerous situation.

Get Legal Help from a Brooklyn Construction Accident Lawyer

Construction is a dangerous industry, injuring and killing thousands of workers every year. Tower crane and overhead crane accidents can cause broken bones, head trauma, and more. It is important that you seek compensation for these damages, especially if your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a crane accident, seek legal help right away. You may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. Count on The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum for the legal advice you need during this difficult time. To learn more about your legal options, schedule a consultation by calling our Brooklyn office at (718) 237-5586.

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