Moving large, heavy loads and demolishing structures are critical to manufacturing and construction industries. Just as important is the safety of the tall cranes that make these jobs possible. One error can cause a tip-over, collapse or dropped load that results in serious injury or death of workers and passersby.

Crane accidents are the most common cause of construction site accident deaths. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates there are currently over 175,000 cranes working in construction and maritime building. That means that hundreds of thousands of construction workers could possibly be injured in a crane accident. This doesn’t include bystanders passing by construction sites.

OSHA Crane Operation Safety Guidelines

Here are the guidelines to proper crane operation safety OSHA advises:

  • Only qualified and trained operators should use cranes
  • Cranes should be inspected before use
  • Cranes should be used only on level surfaces
  • The area around the crane should be barricaded
  • Crane operators should be aware of where power lines are
  • Hoist lines shouldn’t be tied or wrapped around the load being lifted
  • Cranes should NEVER lift a load heavier than the crane’s capacity
  • Load capacity and balance should be verified before lifted
  • Crane loads should never be lifted over workers or bystanders

Common Causes of Crane Accidents

Here are the most common causes of crane accidents as reported by OSHA:

  • Improper crane setup/not inspecting crane before use
  • Errors in putting the crane together
  • Using the wrong crane for the job
  • Bad foundation for the crane
  • Crane coming into contact with power lines
  • High winds/bad weather
  • Structure failure of building crane is on
  • Going past the crane’s operational limits
  • Operator error

Crane Accident Prevention

OSHA reports that almost 90 percent of crane accidents are caused by human error. Making sure crane operators are properly trained to use the crane, safety trained, and certified to use the crane will make a big difference. Here are some other crane accident prevention tips:

  • Have a safety plan in case of accident
  • Know the cranes weight restrictions
  • Measure how close the crane will get to power lines
  • Only allow trained and certified crane operators to use the crane
  • Make sure the crane is on level ground
  • Make sure crane equipment is inspected and working properly
  • Check the stability of the crane’s load

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crane accident, you need a strong New York crane accident attorney on your side. Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP can help. Contact us today at (212) 986- 7353.