10 Common Causes of Crane Accidents in New York

A crane is an essential element of a construction project that lifts heavy loads, machines, and materials. This makes worker’s life easier at the site by eliminating manual work that is tiring and time-consuming. While cranes are important, they are also risky if you do not apply the right measures when using them. According to Eyewitness News, many construction workers in New York get involved in crane accidents often for various reasons. Here are the most common causes of crane accidents.

Improper Employee Training

Operating cranes isn’t an easy job. Operators need adequate training to handle cranes efficiently. Unfortunately, some organizations do not invest in employee training, leading to deadly crane accidents. If an employee doesn’t know how to operate a crane, they will likely make costly mistakes that lead to severe injuries and property damage. You can prevent crane accidents by offering quality training to your employees and ensuring that they can operate a crane well before you assign them a task. Employees need to complete the OSHA courses and get trained on the dangers of cranes. Teach your employees to keep a safe distance when operating cranes and immediately report any unusual experiences to the site manager.

Heavy Loads

While cranes are meant to carry heavy loads, they have a limit on the loads. Anything heavier than their average weight could cause accidents. Also, if workers do not load the cranes properly, the loads can lose balance and cause the cranes to turn or tilt. This can lead to severe injuries.

Contact with Power Lines

Cranes get electrocuted when close to power sources. The cables and booms can get in contact with the power line, leading to severe accidents. Crane operators and site managers need to keep the crane about 20 feet away from power sources to prevent electrocution. A professional electrician should examine any potential risks with the power line and correct the errors before an accident occurs. Employees should be aware of the dangers of moving the crane close to power lines and should avoid it as much as possible. Additionally, it is best to shut off the power lines before the crane begins working to minimize accidents.

Lack of Maintenance

Crane maintenance and care are as essential as any other piece of equipment. A crane needs proper care and maintenance to keep it in good condition and minimize breakdowns and accidents. So, ensure a professional inspects the crane regularly and repairs any damage before you continue using it. Even if you have an urgent construction project, it is best to wait and have the crane inspected and cleared before proceeding with the project. This is for the safety of your employees and other people around the site.

Poor Assembly and Disassembly

There needs to be close supervision before the assembling and disassembling of a crane. This is because employees can make costly errors due to improper training, experience, and skills. Supervision during this process is crucial to prevent present and future accidents for employees and passersby. So, always have a professional on-site before you assemble and disassemble the crane.

Crane Collapsing

Cranes collapse due to instability, poor positioning, improper care, and not adhering to the weight limit guidelines. This is also a common cause of crane accidents that lead to severe injuries. In this case, it is best to adhere to all safety measures before and when using the crane to minimize accidents.

Mechanical Failures

Cranes experience mechanical failures. These are serious experiences that can cause severe injuries. Here are the reasons why a crane can develop mechanical failures.

  • Electrical faults
  • Equipment misuse
  • Worn out brakes, gearboxes, and chains

You can avoid mechanical failures by inspecting your crane often and keeping a maintenance schedule with the help of a professional— oiling all crane components to keep them lubricated and repairing any issues immediately.

Crane Overturning

A crane can overturn because of overloading beyond its limits. When a crane overturns, it can land on anything. Unfortunately, it can cause severe injuries and even fatalities if it falls on someone. Therefore, ensure you load the crane well by placing loads at the center and tightening the loads before lifting. This will control swings and crane rotation. Ensure proper ground inspection and check the crane load limit before using it. Additionally, ensure the ground is clear before lifting the crane.

High Wind

There are different types of cranes with different configurations. Some cranes can fall due to heavy winds. This is why it is imperative to check the weather conditions before using a crane. Avoid using a crane in a location with heavy winds. All crane operators should understand the effects of operating a crane during heavy winds. They should rather obey instructions whenever they’re operating the crane.

Poor Communication and Collaboration

Operating a crane isn’t a one-person job. There needs to be teamwork and proper communication to enhance operations at the site. Each team member needs to take responsibility for their tasks and communicate with others frequently whenever they realize any dangers with the crane. There should also be established rules and procedures that guide all team members when operating a crane. Also, proper communication is vital during signal operation. A signal person is vital in guiding the crane operator by voice, hand, or gesture, depending on the direction of the crane. This will guide the operator and prevent potential accidents.

Crane Accidents are Dangerous

Because a crane is heavy, it can lead to severe brain injuries, head injuries, cervical spine injuries, and lumbar spine injuries. It is one of the leading causes of construction deaths in New York. This is why you need to avoid such experiences that can lead to costly treatment and liabilities. Accidents can happen no matter how careful you are. Employees may rush to complete tasks, which can compromise the quality of work on the site, leading to crane accidents.

What Do You Do When You Get Injured in a Crane Accident?

If you or your family member get injured or dies from a crane accident, it is best to seek legal help so that you get compensation for the loss, pain, and suffering. It is best to work with an experienced lawyer for the best outcome. Contact us today if you got involved in a crane accident in New York. We will review your crane injury journey and advise you on the most appropriate steps to take.

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