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Why Are Cranes So Dangerous?

men working on scaffolding

Building skyscrapers and working on tall buildings is dangerous, no matter how you look at it. Any mistake can lead to serious injuries or fatalities, and equipment failure is one of the biggest dangers of all. Nowhere is this more apparent than in accidents involving construction cranes.

An article from Live Science dives in to answer the question: Why Are Construction Cranes So Dangerous? The answer – cranes become dangerous “in the wrong hands” and when they are used incorrectly.

22 Fatalities Per Year

On average, crane accidents kill 22 construction workers every year. Often, we do not hear about these incidents, but some of the most high-profile crane accidents occur in big cities with skyscrapers. In 2008, for example, a crane collapsed in Manhattan, killed 7 people, and injured 10 others. Later that same year, another Manhattan crane accident killed 2 construction workers.

A crane, says a former crane operator and the CEO of Crane Safety Associates of America, is “the one piece of equipment that has the potential to do the most damage on any job.”

Structural Failure and Operator Error

Cranes are extremely susceptible to structural failure, as they are made of light alloy steels and built “very close to their structural limitations.” For cranes to work well with this slim margin of error, they must be inspected regularly and receive proper maintenance. If even part of a crane collapses during use, the machinery can fall over and cause serious injuries and death.

Further, crane operators don’t always have the best training, and operating frequently comes down to experience and finesse. Experienced crane operators know how much a crane can hold and how to maneuver the crane with heavier loads, but less experienced operators are working by “the seat of the pants.” As the CEO of Crane Safety explains, some operators he knew would “just pick up the load and see if the crane was going to tip over or not.”

Options and Requirements for Crane Safety

Since 1995, the non-profit National Commission For The Certification Of Crane Operators (NCCCO) has been offering training and certification to crane operators for employers who are willing to host lessons and exams. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also has standards for crane, derrick, and hoist safety in different industries.

Nevertheless, each state has its own safety requirements, and many don’t take crane safety as seriously as they should.

If you get hurt or lose a loved one to a crane accident, you may have a few different options, legally speaking.

At the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli, we not only know how challenging it may be to think about a lawsuit during this difficult time, but we also understand the impact a successful settlement or verdict could have on your future.

If you are ready to protect your rights after an injury or loss, please call us at (516) 628-6402 or contact us online – we are available 24/7 to take your call and offer free consultations.

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