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Construction Crane Accidents: Prevalence, Causes, & Legal Options

There are roughly 250,000 crane operators in the United States and 125,000 cranes in operation in the construction industry, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Sadly, construction crane accidents cause numerous serious and fatal injuries every year, many of which were preventable.

Susceptibility and Prevalence of Crane Injuries

New Yorkers have been increasingly leery about cranes since the two fatal accidents in 2008. One of those accidents, which occurred on the Upper East Side, claimed the lives of two people; the other accident only a few months prior claimed seven lives, according to New York Times reports.

Annually, an average of 78 Americans loses their lives because of a crane-related accident, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Many fatalities occur not because the crane fell on the victim him- or herself, but rather because the object it was transporting fell on the victim.

The most dangerous types of cranes include:

  • mobile-mounted;
  • truck-mounted;
  • rail-mounted cranes; and
  • overhead cranes.

 

According to BLS statistics, the workers most susceptible to crane accidents are:

  • construction laborers;
  • manufacture workers;
  • miners;
  • electricians; and
  • welders and cutters.

Common Causes of Construction Crane Accidents

The BLS reports that the most common causes of crane accident fatalities are:

  • struck by a falling object (42 percent);
  • falls (20 percent);
  • caught or compressed by equipment (11 percent);
  • transportation incidents (10 percent); and
  • contact with electrical current (8 percent).

 

There are numerous factors that contribute to crane accidents, many of which are avoidable. The OHSA Crane and Hoist Safety archive clues us into additional factors that cause crane injuries:

  • power lines;
  • boom collapse,
  • overturned cranes,
  • improper inspection;
  • under the hook lifting device,
  • inadequate crane operator qualifications;
  • outrigger use; and
  • rigging failures.

Looking into Your Legal Options for Compensation

If you were injured on the job, you should be eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. Workers’ compensation benefits include all reasonable and necessary medical expenses, as well as a portion of your wages while you are recovering. But workers who are injured in a crane accident may be entitled to pursue pain and suffering damages from the general contractor or property owner.

If your loved one was killed in a crane accident, you might qualify for financial restitution via a wrongful death claim as well as workers’ compensation death benefits. Consult an attorney who handles crane accidents to determine what legal remedies are available for your given situation.

Attorney Serving New York City and Surrounding Areas

To discuss your work-related crane injury, we invite you to call our legal team at Markhoff & Mittman. We handle all types of workers’ compensation cases in New York City and surrounding areas. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation: 866-205-2415 or (866) 205-2415.

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