Crane equipment, including tower cranes, mobile cranes, service truck cranes, telescopic trains, and boom trucks can be found at almost any construction site. Construction accidents involving defective or negligently operated cranes can result in serious physical injuries and even death. Each year, approximately 45 individuals lose their lives in crane accidents. Many more are injured. industry experts warn that without proper crane safety precautions, more deaths are likely to occur.
The causes of construction accidents involving cranes include:
While human error is a factor in some crane accidents, defective or malfunctioning crane equipment often plays a large role in crane-related construction accidents.
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has passed several new regulations to increase crane safety at construction sites. Under the new rules, only certified or licensed crane operators can operate new equipment. Crane operators must receive ongoing training and evaluation as a part of the certification process. Employers are required to provide crane safety training every five years.
Construction employers or the company paying the operator will be responsible for compliance with the new OSHA regulations. General contractors subcontracting their crane work should follow the recommendation of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCC) to verify all crane operators are qualified to operate the equipment.
Crane safety includes raising awareness of the unique risks associated with cranes used for specific purposes in the manufacturing, industrial, and energy industries. Operator training programs can be tailored to the type of crane being operated. The certification process typically requires both classroom and simulated work environment training. Operators must have 500 to 1000 hours of on-the-job training before they can obtain their professional license.
When a crane accident results in injury, there may be more than one responsible party. Crane companies that act as subcontractors and provide their own equipment must adhere to construction industry standards and safety training regulation. Subcontractors face liability when they fail to meet their safety obligations. In some cases, the general contractor or developer at the construction site will run their own cranes and share responsibility when their negligence in supervising or operating the crane contributes to the crane accident. Other potentially responsible parties include the crane owner and the companies that design, manufacture, and distribute crane components.
Individuals suffering from crane accident injuries can face significant medical expenses including the costs of hospital stays, physician visits, prescription drugs, occupational therapy, physical therapy, rehabilitation services, and ongoing medical testing. When a crane injury results in a temporary or permanent disability, workers may be unable to earn a living wage. Injured workers should contact an experienced work injury lawyer to discuss their options for obtaining compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If a crane accident has left you partially or permanently disabled, the experienced Philadelphia product liability lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP are here to help. We proudly assist injured accident victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including those in the Philadelphia, Reading, Bethlehem, Allentown and Harrisburg areas. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Philadelphia construction accident lawyer today, call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or submit an online inquiry form.