From tunnel construction to skyscrapers, cranes are a vital piece of equipment on many construction jobs. Companies that operate cranes must always remember to use adequate safety precautions when using this equipment as accidents involving cranes usually result in catastrophic and fatal injuries.
The following are just some of the many causes of fatal crane accidents: contact with electrical power lines, defectively designed cranes, crane operators failing to follow directions, worn or faulty slings used to lift loads, inadequately maintained cranes, lack of adequate warnings, loads that exceed the crane’s lifting capacity, poorly trained workers, poorly assembled cranes.
A large number of individuals in the United States are injured each year due to work related crane accidents. Statistics reveal the following about the prevalence of crane accidents:
- There is an average of 42 deaths each year due to crane accidents;
- Some of the most common causes of deaths at the construction site include crane collapses and load collisions;
- Mobile cranes were involved in 71% of the fatalities, while tower cranes were involved in 5% of fatalities.
OSHA put together an expert group called the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) back in 1998. The ACCSH was formed to review the rules and safety standards for cranes in the construction industry and to make recommendations to improve worker safety. In 2003 the Cranes and Derricks Negotiated Rules Committee (C-DAC) agreed with ACCSH’s recommendations. The recommendations were then submitted to OSHA and OSHA agreed with the recommendations which became official on November 9, 2010. The new standards address the 4 main causes for crane related worker fatalities which included: (1) workers being crushed by a part of the crane, (2) workers being electrocuted, (3) workers falling and, (4) workers being struck by material being hoisted. The new standard is said to prevent up to twenty-four worker deaths a year.
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The crane safety standards are governed by Subpart CC of 29 CFR Part 1926 (§1926.1400 et seq.), Cranes and Derricks in Construction (“cranes standard”).
- Crane Assembly: The crane must be assemble and dissembled by and A/D Director who is “competent” and “qualified.” Part of the Director’s job is to make sure that all assembly/disassembly workers know their jobs, the hazards associated with the job and any dangerous positions or locations that need to be avoided. The A/D director needs to review all 12 hazards associated with crane operation including: the conditions of the ground (whether they are wet or there is an incline),blocking material, proper location of blocking, verifying assist crane loads, boom & jib pick points, center of gravity, stability upon pin removal, snagging, struck by counterweights, boom hoist brake failure, loss
of backward stability, and wind speed and weather.
- Crane Inspection: After the crane is assembled, but before it is used, it must be inspected by a “qualified person.”
- Crane Operation: Any construction worker that needs to walk out of the crane operator’s sight must tell the operator before doing so. The crane operator cannot operate the crane until he has confirmation that worker has relocated to a safe place. Crew members cannot walk or stand underneath the cranes boom or jib when pins are being removed.
Employees that are injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under Massachusetts law. Almost every employer is required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance in order protect against workplace accidents. The Massachusetts workers compensation law was designed to make sure that any worker who is unable to work for 5 or more days is eligible to receive necessary medical treatment and weekly compensation.
There are actually several types of cranes which are used by workers, which include:
- Aerial cranes. These cranes are used to lift heavy loads.
- Crawler Cranes. These cranes are mounted to a chassis.
- Mobile Cranes. These cranes are attached to vehicles.
- Rough Terrain Cranes. These cranes are used to navigate around difficult terrain.
- Tower Cranes. These cranes can lift greater than 30,000 pounds and are often used in the construction of buildings.
Massachusetts Crane Accident Injury Attorneys
If you are an employee or worker who was injured in a crane accident, it is a wise idea to retain the assistance of our skilled construction accident lawyers. Do not hesitate to contact the Massachusetts Crane Accident Injury Attorneys at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan today. Call our Brockton workers’ compensations lawyers today for a free consultation.
Representing the residents of Plymouth County including Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Norton; Cape Cod, Falmouth, Barnstable and the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Lynn, Revere, Everett, Lawrence, Dorchester, Roxbury and Somerville.