One of the reasons that the construction industry is so notoriously dangerous is because of the heavy machinery involved in that line of work. Building large structures obviously requires large equipment. Unfortunately, that requirement poses an increased risk to workers who operate them and work around them. One such type of equipment is cranes. Cranes are used in many different forms and for many different projects to lift, lower and move materials for the purpose of the project. However, because of the type of work they are used for, cranes can be extremely dangerous if they malfunction or if an untrained worker is asked to operate them.
While there are countless types of cranes used for different lines of work, there are four main types most frequently used in the construction industry. Mobile cranes are attached to a truck which moves them from place to place as needed while overhead cranes are used as a hook-and-line mechanism to move objects horizontally along to widely separated rails. There are also floating cranes used for construction projects on the water but the most popular type of crane is the tower crane, typically seen on a city construction site. All of these cranes operate with a lever, pulley and hydraulic cylinder which are necessary for the function of a crane.
As one can imagine, these large machines can be either a friend or foe to a construction worker depending on their stability and the experience of the individual handling them. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found that cranes are significant contributors to many fatalities that occur on construction sites every year and one main reason for that is because of the lack of proper training. Another common cause of crane accidents is when objects fall from the load carried by the crane and strike workers on the ground below.
It is estimated that approximately 90 workers and non-workers are killed in crane accidents every year and a number of others are injured by crane mishaps as well. Much like other areas of the industry, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has thoroughly outlined rules and regulations as to the use of cranes so that worker safety is promoted above all else. Any deviation from those standards is a violation of federal regulations and any injuries from those violations should be compensated by the person or party responsible for the accident.
One of the most frightening aspects of crane use is that the majority of victims involved with injury accidents are unsuspected workers or bystanders under or around the operating crane. Operators of the crane account for only 10% of all injury victims of crane accidents, while the remaining 90% are the individuals on the ground. Not to belittle the significance of operator injuries but this does go to show that the most common cause of crane injuries involve fallen or dropped objects.
Injuries involved with crane accidents are known to be serious if not fatal. Head injuries and crushing injuries are most commonly associated with dropped items. Falls and electrocution can also lead to injury for the operator of the crane or the site's employees working on higher levels of the structure when the crane malfunctions. Mobile cranes, because of the smaller base, are known to tip over, which places those on the ground under great risk of danger.
Regardless of whether you were the operator of the crane or if you were an innocent bystander at the time that you were injured in a crane accident, you can claim compensation for the cost and damage of the accident. Construction supervisors are required to inspect and maintain their equipment regularly as well as properly train their employees to handle the machinery safely. If they fail in this duty, they must take responsibility for the consequences of their shortfalls.
At The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus, we understand how difficult it is to be involved in an accident on a construction site. Whether you are the family that just sustained a tragic loss due to a crane accident or if you are recovering from injuries after experiencing the tragedy yourself, we want to represent you before the insurance company and construction supervisors so that you are given the compensation you deserve. Contact a Santa Clarita personal injury lawyer from our office today to learn how we can work together to rebuild your life.