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Construction Site Accidents: The Dangers of Cranes

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), cranes on construction sites caused 22 fatalities last year. Electricians, construction workers, brazers, and welders were the occupations with the highest risk for crane-related serious injury and death.

The U.S. economy is booming, and when it booms, so does construction in many areas of the nation. But crane accidents are occurring with disturbing frequency, despite safety regulations and operation standards and practices that are better than they used to be.

See our crane accident page to learn more:

What Causes Crane Accidents?

Part of the frequency of crane accidents stems from the number of types of cranes used on construction sites. A given site may have overhead cranes, tower cranes, mobile cranes, and rail-mounted cranes. All of them can endanger not only the workers who are operating them, but also workers nearby or below them.

The most common construction site accidents, according to OSHA, include falls, workers being caught between two things, being struck by an object, electrocution, and lack of fall protection. All of these can occur in crane operation or as a result of crane movement.

In addition, crane accidents can be caused by the following events, according to OSHA:

Crane Accidents: Sobering Examples

OSHA data reveal sobering examples of fatal crane-related accidents. These provide a vivid picture of just how dangerous cranes can be to the workers on construction sites.

Who Is Legally Responsible for Crane Accidents?

People who are hurt on construction sites because of crane accidents are entitled to workers’ compensation that will pay for medical bills and time off work to recover. But what if negligence was a contributing factor to the accident? OSHA publishes crane safety guidelines. When these or other procedures aren’t followed, or defective or uninspected equipment is used, or cranes aren’t maintained properly, workers may be entitled to additional compensation through civil litigation. In the case of fatal crane accidents, loved ones may be entitled to compensation according to wrongful death statutes.

Multiple parties can potentially be held liable for crane injuries and deaths, including the crane company contractor, the crane manufacturer, maintenance companies, parts distributors and other on-site subcontractors.

Additional Resources on Crane Accidents:

  1. United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Commonly Used Statistics.
  2. United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA Quick Card. Top Four Construction Hazards.
  3. United States Department of Labor. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Accident Results.
  4. Graphic Products, Crane Safety.
  5. Graphic Products, Crane Accidents.

Check out our next article: $6 Million Awarded To Construction Worker Who Fell From Scaffolding.

Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: March 1, 2018
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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