The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that there are 125,000 cranes operating in the American construction industry. This equipment is essential for major construction projects, yet the dangers they pose to workers and bystanders can be significant. Construction accidents involving cranes can lead to catastrophic injuries and fatalities given the size and nature of this equipment.
The Provo, UT lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton would like to consider the hazards posed by construction cranes and how we can help the victims and loved ones of these kinds of accidents.
Statistics on Crane Accidents
According to numbers from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), there have been 220 fatal crane accidents between the years of 2011 and 2015. By year, there were 37 crane fatalities in 2011, 47 in 2012, 43 in 2013, 48 in 2014, and 45 in 2015. Of all fatal accidents, 42 percent occurred in the private construction industry.
Being struck by an object carried by the crane or struck by crane equipment itself was the most common cause of fatal injuries (112 fatalities between 2011 and 2015). Transportation incidents involving cranes and falls were the two other common causes of fatal injury between 2011 and 2015, each linked to 30 deaths.
Finally, we want to note that in 22 percent of fatal accidents, the crane operator was killed; in another 22 percent of fatal accident, a worker performing tasks around the area of the crane was killed.
Types of Accidents That May Occur
There are numerous types of situations that result in crane accidents. OSHA notes that some of the most common reasons for crane accidents include:
- Mechanical failures
- Rigging failures
- Dropping heavy objects
- Striking employees and workers
- Striking building or other structures
- Overturning cranes
- Overloading cranes
- Colliding with power lines
- Boom collapses
- Using wrong type of crane
- Debris around the crane
- Poor weather
Injuries Sustained in Crane Accidents
The injuries that may be sustained in a crane accident can be severe. Even if a person survives a crane accident, they may suffer from severe head trauma, brain injuries, brain damage, neck and spinal cord injuries, broken bones, paralysis, and the loss of a limb.
These injuries can have lasting impact on mobility, general wellness, and one’s ability to perform simple tasks each day. Crane accident injuries could impact your ability to perform your job again, and force you to change your career to accommodate your injuries. This could also mean years of costly medical care and physical rehabilitation.
Determining Who Is Liable in a Crane Accident
Liability in a crane accident can vary. If working conditions were unsafe, the people running the construction company may be held liable for putting workers at risk. Cranes themselves may be faulty to to design or manufacturing problems, which means the companies who made the cranes could be liable.
It’s important that our lawyers consider all of the evidence in a crane accident. By determine the root cause or causes of the incident, liability can be established and negligent parties can be held accountable.
Learn More About Construction Accident Lawsuits
For more information about your legal rights and options after a crane collapse, fall, or malfunction, be sure to contact our team of construction accident and work injury attorneys. The lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton can be reached by phone at (801) 753-1616.