Crane Accident Attorney in Boston
Cranes are considered to be the most dangerous piece of heavy equipment on a construction site. These towering pieces of machinery pose a risk to construction workers directly involved in the machine’s operation and within its vicinity, including innocent bystanders.
If you or a family member has been seriously injured due to a crane accident, the construction accident attorneys in Boston can help. Our skilled and experienced staff will identify all potentially liable parties and ensure that you and your family receive maximum compensation.
Construction workers in the greater Boston area certainly are not immune to dangerous and deadly crane accidents. In recent years, a worker was killed while onboard a crane that was being disassembled. In another crane accident, two workers were injured when a small lift crane tipped over and trapped them. A quick scan of the headlines shows that crane accidents are more common than you might think.
Crane accidents can cause injuries that last a lifetime. In the worst-case scenario, these accidents can be deadly. There’s too much on the line to handle a crane accident case on your own. It’s not unusual for a serious crane accident case to result in a multimillion-dollar verdict or settlement. Plus, these cases tend to be complex, with multiple parties sharing liability.I’ve Been Injured in a Crane Accident. What Should I Do Now?
If you’re a worker and you’ve been injured in a crane accident, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Our workers’ compensation legal department can help you file a claim and ensure that you receive full compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Injured workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Massachusetts regardless of who’s at fault.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a crane accident, there’s too much on the line to pursue a claim without legal representation.
In addition to helping you file a workers’ compensation claim; a work injury attorney will look at some other factors that could have caused or contributed to your crane accident and injuries.
For example, an attorney can investigate whether the crane had a design or manufacturing defect that played a part in the accident. In such a case, your attorney can file a product liability claim against the crane manufacturer and other companies involved in the crane’s distribution, marketing, and sale. Crane rental companies can be held liable for leasing improperly maintained cranes or other defective or unsafe equipment.
An attorney will also look at the construction site itself and determine whether there were any problems or issues that could have caused the accident and whether any safety protocols were violated during the job. Construction companies must ensure that all of their workers are adequately trained and can be fined for violating safety requirements. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that all crane operators be trained and certified. In Massachusetts, workers who operate cranes and other hoisting equipment must be licensed. You can read about applying for a hoisting operator’s license on the state’s website.
Specific construction jobs require the use of specific types of cranes. If the wrong kind of crane is used, accidents are likely to happen. Factors to consider in selecting a crane include the project terrain, size of the worksite, the weather, the weight of the materials to be hoisted, and the length of the project. A construction company can be held liable if it selected the wrong crane for a job, which caused or contributed to your accident.
In most cases, an engineer should be called in to inspect a worksite before the site is approved for crane use. The ground might need to dry out or be stabilized before a crane can operate safely.
Property owners can be held liable for accidents that occur on their premises.
The accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman can help with injuries involving all types of cranes, including:
- Carry deck cranes
- Crawler cranes
- Floating cranes
- Rough terrain cranes
- Truck-mounted cranes
- Fixed cranes
- Bridge cranes
- Hammerhead cranes
- Telescopic cranes
- Tower cranes
- Aerial cranes
Each type of crane poses its risks. For example, tower cranes operate high above the ground while crawler cranes move on a track and lift nearly 300 tons. Tower cranes are dangerous to disassemble.Why Are Cranes the Most Dangerous Piece of Equipment on a Construction Site?
Cranes are extremely dangerous because of their size, design, and purpose. These large behemoths can buckle or collapse from attempting to carry too much weight. Each crane has specific weight limits that are often ignored by project supervisors who are either ignorant of weight limitations or are looking to complete a job done in a short amount of time. That’s why many crane accidents are caused by inadequate training or rushed work.
Some common types of crane accidents include:
- Cranes coming into contact with high-voltage power lines
- Cranes toppling over or collapsing
- Cranes colliding with buildings or other construction equipment
- Boom failure, especially when the boom is extended too far
- Cranes or crane parts striking workers
- Cranes being used to complete tasks that should be performed by other equipment
- Dropped loads
- Failure of “S” hooks used to attach loads because of wear and tear
- Improperly maintained cranes
- Faulty crane assembly and setup
- Faulty crane disassembly
- Using the wrong type of crane for a job
- Poor weather
It’s been reported that nearly half of all crane accidents are caused by cranes coming into contact with power lines. OSHA has regulations on the amount of distance that a crane should maintain from existing power lines. When a crane comes in contact with a live wire, the crane operator is at risk of being electrocuted. Other workers who are nearby, especially those guiding the load, are also at risk.
Cranes should not be operated in inclement weather, especially in high winds. “When wind speed (sustained or gusts) exceeds 20 mph at the personnel platform, a qualified person must determine if, in light of the wind conditions, it is not safe to lift personnel. If it is not, the lifting operation must not begin (or, if already in progress, must be terminated),” OSHA safety regulations state.
Cranes have load charts that specify how much load they can safely handle. These charts should be referenced before each job.
Many types of construction workers are at risk for injuries involving cranes, including crane operators, laborers, electricians and welders, cutters, and brazers.
Other hazardous pieces of heavy machinery found on construction sites can lead to serious injury, including bulldozers, dump trucks, backhoes, and excavators.Crane Accidents Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries
Cranes are often responsible for the most serious injuries on a construction site because of their size and heavy loads and the skills and experience needed to operate them safely.
Some common crane accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal damage
Many crane accident injuries can prevent a construction worker from ever working again.
Fortunately, most crane-related injuries can be prevented through proper training, project planning, and strict adherence to safety rules and regulations.A Checklist for Safe Crane Lifts
For safe crane lifts, the experts say that workers should:
- Perform a visual inspection of the equipment and construction site and identify any potential hazards before starting a task.
- Make sure that the work area is stable and that the crane stabilizers are appropriately deployed.
- Check the rigging.
- Make sure all safety devices are in place.
- Make sure all workers are located at a safe distance from the equipment, loads, and any other materials within a lift zone. Never lift loads over the top of workers.
- Verify that the crane can lift the load and strictly adhere to all load limits.
- Position the crane so that it is as close to the load as possible and make sure that the load is kept low to the ground during a lift.
- Properly secure the load.
- Mark off the work area using fencing and other barricades.
- Properly store the crane, stabilizers, and other moving parts to prevent accidents and injury.
All crane operators and others who work with and around cranes should receive crane safety training. Training shouldn’t be a once and done deal. Instead, workers should receive crane training regularly.
Cranes should be serviced and inspected. This includes all parts of the crane, including ropes and cables.
The U.S. Department of Labor has information on crane, derrick, and hoist safety.
To learn more about how our construction site injury lawyers can help with your crane accident claim, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today at (617) 367-2900 or via our electronic form.