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. 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 or sustaining an injury while attempting to steady a load that is being lowered to the ground. Whilst up in the higher sections of the crane, accidents happen where cranes impact with overhead power lines, where faulty equipment causes an accident or miscommunication from the ground up causes an accident.
Where an employer is found liable for the accident, common reasons are that an employer may have failed to eliminate risks or did not providing 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 and, if possible, photographs of your injuries. 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 when you are making your claim.
- Crush injuries, including fractures and broken bones *
- Repetitive Strain Injuries *
- Head and brain injuries *
- Cuts and lacerations *
- Internal damage *
- Nerve Damage *
- Back and Spinal cord injuries *
Causes of Crane Accidents
Cranes are used to move heavy goods from one place to another and 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, 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, 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.
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.
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:
- It is 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
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
If you are pursuing a crane accident claim * and would like to know more about the process, you can contact our claim solicitors on 01 649 9900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential discussion.
With over 30 years’ experience, Tracey Solicitors ensure not to overwhelm you with legal jargon and can provide you with legal advice and guidance with your best interest at heart, in a language that you can understand.