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The ever-present risk of a crane accident

Working construction in New York means you probably can't avoid being around cranes. These massive machines lift and move construction materials that would otherwise remain immovable, making it possible for you and your co-workers to construct and renew monuments to progress and innovation.

However, with the strength and power of a crane comes a grave danger. Crane accidents rarely happen without massive damage and multiple injuries, especially in a city like New York. When such an accident occurs, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other safety advocates investigate to determine the cause of the accident. Knowing the reason for the crane accident will be important to you if you suffer injuries.

Common crane accidents

Accident reports show that an average of 22 crane accidents occurred each year since 1992, and hundreds of people have died, including those operating the cranes, workers on the ground, residents and passers-by who happened to be near when the crane collapsed. Additionally, many suffer life-changing and catastrophic injuries. Those who operate and work around cranes must have thorough training and knowledge of the risks to avoid common accidents, including the following:

  • Cranes tip if workers overload them or operate them on uneven ground.
  • The boom of a crane may buckle or collapse if it extends beyond its recommended length.
  • Cranes collapse when assemblers do not follow manufacturer's instructions and perform frequent inspections.
  • Cranes that are improperly balanced may drop their loads.
  • Dropped loads also occur when operators and ground crews do not communicate well.
  • A crane that comes in contact with power lines may result in electrocution to the crane's operator.

Often, inspectors can trace any of these causes to human error.

Who is responsible?

Any of these accidents can happen if the equipment is poorly assembled, operators are not trained or workers fail to communicate during the moving of materials. Additionally, you may suffer injuries in a crane accident if your employer ignores the limitations of the machine or cuts corners to save money.

Seeking workers' compensation for your injuries may help you work toward the most complete recovery possible and sustain you until and if you return to work. You may find the process of obtaining these benefits complex, especially if your status in the country places you at risk. A skilled attorney can protect your rights and improve your chances of a fair recovery for your losses.

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