Accident at Work*

Crane Accident Claims*

Crane accident claims* usually arise as a result of negligence on the part of the employer. It is essential that all health and safety procedures are followed in the workplace, especially on a construction site where a crane is in use. It is the duty of an employer to provide a safe working environment for both employees and visitors.

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Types of Accidents

While there are many different types of crane accidents* common accidents happen to people on the ground where they are impacted by falling or swinging objects and also when sustaining an injury while attempting to steady a load that is being lowered to the ground. When up in the higher sections of the crane. Accidents happen where cranes impact with overhead power lines. Also where faulty equipment causes an accident or miscommunication from the ground up causes an accident.

Liability

An employer may be found liable for the accident.The common reasons are that an employer may have failed to eliminate risks or did not provide the correct training to the operator of the machinery. In order to prove employer negligence it may be necessary to obtain CCTV footage of the accident.Details of all the training you received will help.On top of this photographs of your injuries will assist you too. This helps you to prove liability. If you have any other information or documentation relating to your accident and injuries you should always keep a copy and ensure you tell your solicitor about them. In order to aid the claims process* for you.

Common Injuries

Some of the common injuries sustained from a crane accident include:

Causes of Crane Accidents

Cranes are used to move heavy goods from one place to another. With that comes its own set of risks and accidents can be serious. The most common causes of crane accidents are:

  • Mechanical faults
  • Miscommunication between the ground and the top of the crane
  • Objects falling from the crane and striking people below
  • Carry objects that are too heavy may cause the crane to tip or move
  • Human error may mean that swinging objects may collide with buildings. Or cause objects to fall from the crane.
  • Inadequate training and safety procedures. An employer has a duty of care towards their employees. Therefore ,  part of that duty means that they must ensure that adequate training is provided to people operating these machines.
  • Adverse weather conditions making the crane unstable. Heavy or high winds may cause the crane to lose its standing or tip over. Therefore,  it makes it more difficult to steady an object that is being lowered to the ground and cause an accident.
  • Contact with power lines
  • Incorrect assembly
  • Mistakes while loading or unloading is a common cause and can lead to crush injuries where a worker’s limb may get trapped causing serious injury.

Employer Responsibility

The Health and Safety Authority of Ireland’s guide to Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Regulations tell us that an employer must ensure that when working with lifting equipment, such as cranes that:

Properly Planned Operations

All lifting operations are properly planned, appropriately supervised and should be carried out in such a way that ensures the safety of the employees. This means that the person planning the operation should have adequate practical and theoretical knowledge and experience in this field of construction. When devising the plans, there must be a proper risk assessment, identification of skills and resources needed, and proper assignment of duties to those needed to ensure the lifting operation is carried out safely.

Lifting Equipment Has Sufficient Strength

The crane used should be able to support the load it will be lifting. To support this, engineering calculations are necessary before cranes are set up and runway beams are attached to the crane.

Appropriate Lifting Equipment is Used

The specifications of the lifting equipment should be checked in terms of frequency of use that the manufacturer has designed it for. For example, lifting equipment that has been designed for occasional use should not be used as the main lift on a construction site where there is a high demand for lifting and moving of objects.

Safety Requirements

According to the HSA, an employer must also ensure the following before any crane is put to use that it is:

  • Plainly marked upon it or within the cab is the safe working load. This must be specific enough to include a safe working load of various radii of the jib, trolley or crab and in cases with a crane with a derricking jib, the maximum radius at which the jib may be worked.
  • Fitted with suitable accurate automatic safe working load indicator or rated capacity indicator. These must be properly maintained, correctly used and tested by a competent person after erection, alteration and for the purpose of which the crane has been erected for.

It must also be clearly visible to the driver of the crane and show the driver at all times the radius of the jib, trolley or crab and the safe working load corresponding to that radius unless:

  • For a guy derrick crane
  • It is a hand crane used for erecting or dismantling other cranes
  • It has been assigned, by a competent person, a safe working load of 1000kg or less

What to do after an accident at work*?

Following an accident at work*, there are a number of steps you should follow:

  1. Seek medical attention

    Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after an accident at work*, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries and seek the relevant medical attention. If you have sustained a serious injury ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.

    For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.

  2. Report the accident

    It is critical to report the accident to your superior, i.e. a supervisor or manager on site. It doesn’t matter how small you think the accident may be. By law, accidents at work* are required to be reported if the person is injured and can’t perform their daily work tasks for more than three days. Make sure to fill out an Accident Report Form. This can be used in reference to any medical examination and will also prevent any similar accidents that could happen in the future.

  3. Identify any witnesses

    If possible, try to collect the contact details of anybody that witnessed the accident. This may be of use if you do decide to pursue a workplace accident claim*. It is also useful to find out if there is any CCTV in the area where the accident happened.

  4. Document the incident

    It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:

    •  How the accident happened
    •  Details of any witnesses
    •  If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident
    • Take pictures of where the accident happened and what caused the accident
  5. Speak to a workplace accident solicitor*

    If you are considering moving forward with a workplace accident claim* for any personal injuries sustained it is advisable that you speak with a workplace accident claims solicitor* as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. A workplace accident solicitor* can help you in preparing your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.

    It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.

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How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist workplace accident* solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your workplace accident claim* it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
    • Details of your injuries
    • Details of hospital or GP attended
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the workplace accident claim* process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    One of the most important document in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or Hospital details so he can obtain a report on your injuries. This report will then be used to allow us progress your case.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your workplace accident claim* will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. You solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and your employer accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or your employer reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus of your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey’s we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your workplace accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a workplace accident claim* you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a workplace accident*.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the workplace accident*, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases* is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident* to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors

We draw on more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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