Crane Accidents

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There is really only one way to operate a crane and that is safely. If a crane is not operated in a safe fashion, people’s lives can be at risk. No, this is not mere hyperbole.

If a crane were to lift an oversized load and its ropes and cable snapped, gravity dictates that the load will come crashing to earth. It is not without precedent that such calamities have occurred. Crane accidents are more common than most people assume. This, of course, begs the question as to what must be done to reduce the potential for crane accidents. On a baseline level, the way to reduce the number of crane accidents centers on recognizing the warning signs that an accident is about to occur.

This is why following the crane safety standards of the OHSA is vital. The rules, regulations, and suggestions put forth by this agency are done so for a reason. When a construction site follows these guidelines, the odds of increased safety become significant.

But, what are some common warning signs? Let’s examine a few of the more common signs….

The presence of unauthorized personnel. Keeping unauthorized personnel aware from an operating crane is critical. Many pedestrians like to watch the crane “in action” and that is fine provided they watch from a safe distance. To do otherwise will invite serious problems.

Excess operational speed. When the hoisting of a load is occurring too quickly, this is not a sign of decent crane safety. Actually, it is one of the most unsafe methods of operation possible. That is why any crane operator who is operating a hoist at unsafe speeds needs to be admonished.

Instances of obviously defective parts. Many accidents may not necessarily be the crane operators fault. If there is a defect in the motor that causes the hoisting to occur to quickly then it should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. To do otherwise presents far too great of a risk to those in the vicinity of the crane.

Wear and tear on the crane. Identifying structural competence is helpful as well. This will decrease the potential for a severely dangerous situation resulting from structural problem or flaws.

Lifting Excess weight. Notating the maximum load/lift capacity of the crane is critical as well. If a crane lifts a load it can not handle then there exist the potential that the load with snap. That is why it is of paramount importance to ascertain the exact volume of maximum capacity. If not, then a serous accident could potentially occur.

Operators not paying attention. Lack of concentration is one of the major causes of unsafe crane operation. That is, the operator simply does not pay strict attention to the job he is doing or the environment around him. Sadly, a number of avoidable accidents occur due to this type of negligence. As such, it is critical that all operators are well trained and wide awake when they are operating a crane.

Of course, this is but a small number of safety precautions one can take. Really, there are no limitations when it comes to maintaining safe crane operation. If you have been injured in a crane accident contact a lawyer today.

There is really only one way to operate a crane and that is safely. If a crane is not operated in a safe fashion, people’s lives can be at risk. No, this is not mere hyperbole.

If a crane were to lift an oversized load and its ropes and cable snapped, gravity dictates that the load will come crashing to earth. It is not without precedent that such calamities have occurred. Crane accidents are more common than most people assume. This, of course, begs the question as to what must be done to reduce the potential for crane accidents. On a baseline level, the way to reduce the number of crane accidents centers on recognizing the warning signs that an accident is about to occur.

This is why following the crane safety standards of the OHSA is vital. The rules, regulations, and suggestions put forth by this agency are done so for a reason. When a construction sitefollows these guidelines, the odds of increased safety become significant.

But, what are some common warning signs? Let’s examine a few of the more common signs….

The presence of unauthorized personnel. Keeping unauthorized personnel aware from an operating crane is critical. Many pedestrians like to watch the crane “in action” and that is fine provided they watch from a safe distance. To do otherwise will invite serious problems.

Excess operational speed. When the hoisting of a load is occurring too quickly, this is not a sign of decent crane safety. Actually, it is one of the most unsafe methods of operation possible. That is why any crane operator who is operating a hoist at unsafe speeds needs to be admonished.

Instances of obviously defective parts. Many accidents may not necessarily be the crane operators fault. If there is a defect in the motor that causes the hoisting to occur to quickly then it should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. To do otherwise presents far too great of a risk to those in the vicinity of the crane.

Wear and tear on the crane. Identifying structural competence is helpful as well. This will decrease the potential for a severely dangerous situation resulting from structural problem or flaws.

Lifting Excess weight. Notating the maximum load/lift capacity of the crane is critical as well. If a crane lifts a load it can not handle then there exist the potential that the load with snap. That is why it is of paramount importance to ascertain the exact volume of maximum capacity. If not, then a serous accident could potentially occur.

Operators not paying attention. Lack of concentration is one of the major causes of unsafe crane operation. That is, the operator simply does not pay strict attention to the job he is doing or the environment around him. Sadly, a number of avoidable accidents occur due to this type of negligence. As such, it is critical that all operators are well trained and wide awake when they are operating a crane.

Of course, this is but a small number of safety precautions one can take. Really, there are no limitations when it comes to maintaining safe crane operation. If you have been injured in a crane accident contact a lawyer today.

The invention of the crane played a large role in the modernization of society. Now, some may assume that this statement is hyperbolic. It most assuredly is not. The ability to build massive skyscrapers, bridges, and even roads is dependent upon construction equipment.

Often overlooked, cranes make much of this construction possible. Without a device that can lift heavy loads, the ability to build many structures would be cost prohibitive, labor intensive, and far too time consuming.

A crane is not a haphazardly designed piece of equipment. In order for a crane to operative effectively, its design must follow the laws of physics to its maximum benefit. On a baseline level, a crane works as a motorized fulcrum that is able to lift in enormous amount of weight efficiently and safely. The amount and volume of weight a crane can lift and move is fairly significant. However, there are limitations present. A crane is not an anti-matter device right out of a science-fiction film. If the crane is overloaded, it will not operate in an efficient manner. This means it could move rather slowly while enormous stress is endured by the gears. Then again, efficiency is not the most serious concern here. When a crane is overloaded a serious safety hazard is present.

If the carrier load of a crane is significantly overloaded, it is possible that it may detach. This means the bed and all its contents will go “airborne” with gravity sending them hurling towards the sidewalk. Needless to say, any workers or pedestrians who are at ground zero of such a calamity are at serious risk of injuries and/or fatalities. That is why it is critical that crane operators follow a number of basic safety guidelines. These guidelines include:

  • Never overload a crane with more weight than what is suggested in the crane’s operational manual. While it can sometimes be difficult to estimate the maximum weight amount, simply using good judgment in estimating can go a long way towards preventing an accident.
  • Never overfill the open vessels the cranes are lifting. This is important because it prevents debris from flying out. Yes, only filling an open vessel halfway may necessitate a longer work day, but it will remain a safe workday.
  • Installing overload protection systems is important as well. This will reduce the potential for overloads dramatically.
  • Management should always make sure cranes are inspected for safety. Stripped or worn gears will have difficulty maintaining weight limits. That is why a crane must always be in “top shape” prior to use.

Management should always monitor employees to make sure they are not overfilling the beds of a crane. Proper oversight of employees will go a long way towards maintaining safety.

Again, the overloading of a crane is a serious matter. Accidents deriving from negligent overloading can lead to a variety of liability suits. Hopefully, the presence of civil punitive statutes will compel most constructions sites to be vigilant with safety. If not, a lawsuit could be the eventual result…and justifiably so. If you have been injured in a crane accidentcontact a lawyer today.

Despite their value and importance, we have a tendency to take cranes for granted. Yet, their value is enormous. Cranes have the unique ability to harness and hoist heavy amounts of weight to facilitate many construction and transporting duties. So, essentially, the manner in which a common crane can manipulate physics is amazing.

However, there is one rule of physics that can often be overlooked. That is, physics also details the limitations of lifting weight. After all, a crane is not indestructible. Excess weight can cause a number of problems – not the least of which is a serious accident. Then again, even acceptable weight limits can be compromised if the hoisted weight passes the safety zone. That is why it is critical to pay attention to the upper limits of a crane.

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For many cranes, the upper limits are standardized to particular models. That is, a specific crane will be specified a certain upper limit where no load can be hoisted beyond a certain point. To do otherwise can create a serious safety problem. However, there is a certain quandary that is present here. It is next to impossible to make a visual assessment of whether or not a load is being lifted too high. Well, the operator can tell when the upper limit passes the point of no return. That is, the cables and drum may come unglued when the height limitations have been surpassed. This, of course, is NOT a scenario any crane operator wants to be involved in. That is why upper limit switches are so important.

For those not familiar with the purpose of an upper limit switch, it is relatively self explanatory. An upper limit switch is a sort of fail safe mechanism. That is, the switch is programmed with the safety limit and will restrict the crane from lifting a load that exceeds safety limits. Some cranes come with a built in load limit switch. However, all cranes can be fitted with upper limit switches if they do not come with one.

Obviously, these upper limit switches work wonders for reducing the potential for serious crane accidents. That is why it is important for these switches to be installed. Yet, there will be those sites that opt not to install these devices. That is their choice but they are taking a huge liability risk. If a crane accident occurs and the crane was not fitted with an upper limit switch, then the construction site might be held liable.

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Also, it is critical that the manufacturer provide a workable switch. If there are defects in the switch, then the manufacturer may be held liable for any accident that might be occurred. In such an instance, a lawsuit may be filed against the manufacturer if it truly is the manufacturer who is at fault. If you have been injured contact a crane accident lawyer today. Actually, there can also be instances of joint responsibility as well. That is, the manufacturer and the construction site can both find themselves defendants in a civil suit. Hopefully, this will never come to pass. However, if the past is any indication of the future, instances of such accidents are unavoidable.

Despite their value and importance, we have a tendency to take cranes for granted. Yet, their value is enormous. Cranes have the unique ability to harness and hoist heavy amounts of weight to facilitate many construction and transporting duties. So, essentially, the manner in which a common crane can manipulate physics is amazing.

However, there is one rule of physics that can often be overlooked. That is, physics also details the limitations of lifting weight. After all, a crane is not indestructible. Excess weight can cause a number of problems – not the least of which is a serious accident. Then again, even acceptable weight limits can be compromised if the hoisted weight passes the safety zone. That is why it is critical to pay attention to the upper limits of a crane.

For many cranes, the upper limits are standardized to particular models. That is, a specific crane will be specified a certain upper limit where no load can be hoisted beyond a certain point. To do otherwise can create a serious safety problem. However, there is a certain quandary that is present here. It is next to impossible to make a visual assessment of whether or not a load is being lifted too high. Well, the operator can tell when the upper limit passes the point of no return. That is, the cables and drum may come unglued when the height limitations have been surpassed. This, of course, is NOT a scenario any crane operator wants to be involved in. That is why upper limit switches are so important.

For those not familiar with the purpose of an upper limit switch, it is relatively self explanatory. An upper limit switch is a sort of fail safe mechanism. That is, the switch is programmed with the safety limit and will restrict the crane from lifting a load that exceeds safety limits. Some cranes come with a built in load limit switch. However, all cranes can be fitted with upper limit switches if they do not come with one.

Obviously, these upper limit switches work wonders for reducing the potential for serious crane accidents. That is why it is important for these switches to be installed. Yet, there will be those sites that opt not to install these devices. That is their choice but they are taking a huge liability risk. If a crane accident occurs and the crane was not fitted with an upper limit switch, then the construction site might be held liable.

Also, it is critical that the manufacturer provide a workable switch. If there are defects in the switch, then the manufacturer may be held liable for any accident that might be occurred. In such an instance, a lawsuit may be filed against the manufacturer if it truly is the manufacturer who is at fault. If you have been injured contact a crane accident lawyer today. Actually, there can also be instances of joint responsibility as well. That is, the manufacturer and the construction site can both find themselves defendants in a civil suit. Hopefully, this will never come to pass. However, if the past is any indication of the future, instances of such accidents are unavoidable

Imagine walking past a construction site were crane is lifting a heavy load. You notice that the crane is not hoisting the load in a reasonably controlled fashion. It would seem that the load is swaying back and forth erratically. The reason for this is that the speed of the lift is recklessly out of control.

Hopefully, the above imagined scenario remains exactly that…imagined. Speed must always be tempered with judgment and control or else a construction site can become a very hazardous environment. Unfortunately, some methods utilized to control speed are not always as safe as we initially assume. The reverse plugging speed control method, for example, is often employed but it is not always the best way to achieve the desired result.

When we pass a crane at a construction site, we have a tendency to look at it as a whole entity and not as a machine composed of a variety of small complex parts. While this is understandable because the average person is not a mechanical engineer, it is also a somewhat dismissive attitude because we do not acknowledge the various complex parts to create the whole. This is unfortunate because the small parts are what make the primary function of the crane possible. Also, it is these parts that make the safe operation of the crane possible as well.

Obviously, the motor of the hoist is the most important aspect of a crane. It is the motor that allows the pulleys and ropes to perform their task. As previously mentioned, when the speed of the up and down hoisting is out of control, safety is undermined. This is why a plugging speed control is often employed. Found in certain motors, this is a multi-speed method designed to speed up or reduce acceleration as needed. One of the ways this is achieved is by limiting the amount of energy to the motors. By reducing energy and voltage to the motors, the assent and descent of the hoist can be controlled.

However, the reverse plugging method does not always work effectively. There are a number of reasons for this. One reason is that these types of motors are not truly compatible with the more compact cranes that are being produced. Then, this is also the problem of neglect in the maintenance of a speed controlled motor. Operational malfeasance can sometimes be a factor as well. After all, if the speed control is not effectively utilized then its presence might as well be worthless.

As such, it would be advisable that any construction site that employs the use of a crane with a reverse plugging speed system think about this decision a little bit. If there are concerns and red flags raised about the confidence of using such a system, a construction site would be best served thinking about whether or not such a selection is a wise one. If there is worry about such systems, it is because such a problem exists. Therefore, it is always best to take as many precautions as possible. If you have been injured contact a crane accident lawyer today.

If you were to ask the average person what is the primary purpose of operating a crane, the most common response would be “to lift things at a construction site”. If you were to tell the person that this is incorrect as lifting objects is the second purpose, you would receive a quizzical look.

This is because most people do not realize the primary purpose of operating a crane is to maintain safety. Everything else is secondary. After all, what value is the operation of a crane if people’s health and safety is not of primary concern?

How does that old saying about physics go? An object at rest has a tendency to stay at rest while an object in motion has a tendency to stay in motion. Well, it will stay in motion unless an external factor does something to make sure it comes to a rest. Regarding the operation of cranes at a construction site, it is braking that keeps a crane from operating out of control. In some instances, braking may not be completely effective. This is where secondary brakingis critical. However, secondary braking does not refer to the forward movement of the crane. It refers to the up and down movement of the hoist. Or, more accurately, it refers to the non-movement of the load in the hoist.

When lifting the load there is a primary brake on the hoist that makes sure the load does not come crashing down. However, no brake is indestructible. Wear and tear, stress, and other factors all contribute to the degradation of a brake. That is why all cranes are built with a secondary brake that makes sure a hoisted load does not collapse towards the ground. So, in this regard, a secondary brake can be considered the failsafe mechanism that ensures a hoist does not come crashing to earth in the event the primary brake fails.

Keep in mind, the event of a load or hoist crashing to earth is no minor problem. Workers and pedestrians can be killed if a heavy load crashes down to earth. While these situations are rare, they do happen. They would happen with more frequency if secondary braking fail safe mechanisms were not employed.

It is also important to point out that a secondary brake is not indestructible either. Just as the primary braking system can fail, a secondary braking system can have its problems as well. This is why extreme caution must always be embodied when standing near a cradle hoisting a load. This would be both good judgment and common sense. Thankfully, if both are lacking, the secondary brake can pick up the slack. It can also save lives. That is why the proper maintenance of secondary brakes is so critical in the construction of a crane. If you have been injured contact a crane accident lawyer today.

Contrary to what some might assume, there are a number of complexities associated with setting up a crane on a construction site. Simply driving the crane to the site and placing it the area it is intended to operate is not enough. There are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration in order to make sure the crane works properly.

If the crane’s set up is not what it should be there exists the potential for a number of problems to occur. This can present a number of time delays on the site which, of course, can translate into money lost. Then, there is also safety concerns associated with the improper set up of a crane. This all returns to our initial point: a crane must always be properly set up on a construction site in order to be effective.

There are a variety of aspects to a crane set up. Scaffolding, portable stairs, fencing, safety equipment, and many other items must be strategically placed in the vicinity of the crane. Again, this is to ensure work is performed properly while maintaining the safety of crew and pedestrians. Needless to say, such a setup can not be achieved through randomness. The set up will require an expert hand. In some cases, this may require bringing in a set up crew with special knowledge.

Probably the best way for a crane to be set up, construction site involves hiring professionals who understand the intricacies of a crane set up. Now, some may wonder why a construction site management firm does not perform its own set up tasks. In many instances, the construction team can handle these duties. However, some firms are more adept at the actual construction as opposed to the setup process. There is nothing wrong with this. All the construction team needs to do is outsource the setup process to a team that performs set up duties.

It is also important to point out the locality where the construction site exists may have influence on the set up. That is, there may be a number of regulations that must be adhered to when setting up a crane. These regulations were not developed simply because localities decided upon such actions out of thin air. Unfortunately, these decisions derive in the aftermath of accidents. So, to avoid the potential for any further disasters, and various regulations centering on the set up, oversight, and dismantling of a construction site are put into effect.

It is absolutely critical that a construction site follow these rules to the letter. If they do not, they will run the risk of facing serious liability consequences. Also, in the aftermath of that any accidents, the site management may find itself blatantly liable due to the fact that the site did not follow proper procedures.

So, how does a crane get set up on a construction site? The answer is one word: properly. Anything else is would be a hazard or problem best avoided. If you have been injured in a crane accident contact a lawyer today.

Contrary to what some might assume, there are a number of complexities associated with setting up a crane on a construction site. Simply driving the crane to the site and placing it the area it is intended to operate is not enough. There are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration in order to make sure the crane works properly.

If the crane’s set up is not what it should be there exists the potential for a number of problems to occur. This can present a number of time delays on the site which, of course, can translate into money lost. Then, there is also safety concerns associated with the improper set up of a crane. This all returns to our initial point: a crane must always be properly set up on a construction site in order to be effective.

There are a variety of aspects to a crane set up. Scaffolding, portable stairs, fencing, safety equipment, and many other items must be strategically placed in the vicinity of the crane. Again, this is to ensure work is performed properly while maintaining the safety of crew and pedestrians. Needless to say, such a setup can not be achieved through randomness. The set up will require an expert hand. In some cases, this may require bringing in a set up crew with special knowledge.

Probably the best way for a crane to be set up, construction site involves hiring professionals who understand the intricacies of a crane set up. Now, some may wonder why a construction site management firm does not perform its own set up tasks. In many instances, the construction team can handle these duties. However, some firms are more adept at the actual construction as opposed to the setup process. There is nothing wrong with this. All the construction team needs to do is outsource the setup process to a team that performs set up duties.

It is also important to point out the locality where the construction site exists may have influence on the set up. That is, there may be a number of regulations that must be adhered to when setting up a crane. These regulations were not developed simply because localities decided upon such actions out of thin air. Unfortunately, these decisions derive in the aftermath of accidents. So, to avoid the potential for any further disasters, and various regulations centering on the set up, oversight, and dismantling of a construction site are put into effect.

It is absolutely critical that a construction site follow these rules to the letter. If they do not, they will run the risk of facing serious liability consequences. Also, in the aftermath of that any accidents, the site management may find itself blatantly liable due to the fact that the site did not follow proper procedures.

So, how does a crane get set up on a construction site? The answer is one word: properly. Anything else is would be a hazard or problem best avoided. If you have been injured in a crane accident contact a lawyer today.

Contrary to what some might assume, there are a number of complexities associated with setting up a crane on a construction site. Simply driving the crane to the site and placing it the area it is intended to operate is not enough. There are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration in order to make sure the crane works properly.

If the crane’s set up is not what it should be there exists the potential for a number of problems to occur. This can present a number of time delays on the site which, of course, can translate into money lost. Then, there is also safety concerns associated with the improper set up of a crane. This all returns to our initial point: a crane must always be properly set up on a construction site in order to be effective.

There are a variety of aspects to a crane set up. Scaffolding, portable stairs, fencing, safety equipment, and many other items must be strategically placed in the vicinity of the crane. Again, this is to ensure work is performed properly while maintaining the safety of crew and pedestrians. Needless to say, such a setup can not be achieved through randomness. The set up will require an expert hand. In some cases, this may require bringing in a set up crew with special knowledge.

Probably the best way for a crane to be set up, construction site involves hiring professionals who understand the intricacies of a crane set up. Now, some may wonder why a construction site management firm does not perform its own set up tasks. In many instances, the construction team can handle these duties. However, some firms are more adept at the actual construction as opposed to the setup process. There is nothing wrong with this. All the construction team needs to do is outsource the setup process to a team that performs set up duties.

It is also important to point out the locality where the construction site exists may have influence on the set up. That is, there may be a number of regulations that must be adhered to when setting up a crane. These regulations were not developed simply because localities decided upon such actions out of thin air. Unfortunately, these decisions derive in the aftermath of accidents. So, to avoid the potential for any further disasters, and various regulations centering on the set up, oversight, and dismantling of a construction site are put into effect.

It is absolutely critical that a construction site follow these rules to the letter. If they do not, they will run the risk of facing serious liability consequences. Also, in the aftermath of that any accidents, the site management may find itself blatantly liable due to the fact that the site did not follow proper procedures.

So, how does a crane get set up on a construction site? The answer is one word: properly. Anything else is would be a hazard or problem best avoided. If you have been injured in a crane accident contact a lawyer today.

The load seems somewhat askew. The lift does not operate as smooth as it should. While such appearances are out of the ordinary, are they really much of a big deal? After all, the load is being lifted.

Yes, but it is not being lifted safely. In fact, the cables and the pulleys that make lifting possible are being exposed to unnecessary – and dangerous – friction. This is an obvious safety hazard yet many operators will take such risks. In some instances, these risks can prove fatal. Let the truth be told: operating a crane that is experiencing the above described side pull is a clear and present danger. That is why it must ALWAYS be avoided.

When operating a crane, it is important to pay attention to various safety concerns. In some instances, the safety concerns are obvious. If a crane is overloaded, the stress placed on the neck of the crane makes itself apparent. However, there are other safety hazards that may not be so immediately obvious. This is why it is important for crane operators (and even spectators) to pay attention to potentially hazardous stress. One such example of this is the aforementioned “side pull”. For those unfamiliar with the term, a side pull refers to hoisting that does not travel in a linear manner.

The best way to avoid a side pull is to make sure the crane is lifting its load straight up and straight down. If it is not doing this, then a very problematic situation can occur. Actually, the most problematic situation will be result from not addressing the side pull. When such a problem occurs, it is important to stop operating the crane. Simply lower the load to the ground and then look to see what is causing the side pull. Once this is ascertained, the steps must be taken to eliminate the cause of the problem. Afterwards, the safe operation of the crane can resume.

Of course, there will be those who do not take these right steps. In some cases, they may simply not be aware that a side pull is occurring. In other instances, they may downplay the potential dangers present with a side pull. Whether one does not take steps to correct the problem because of lack of understanding or outright negligence, the operator will be held liable for any accidents that occur as a result.

It is not enough to merely operate a crane. The crane must be operated safely. Also, it is not enough to hire someone who can operate a crane. The operator must run the crane in a safe manner. To do otherwise involves placing people’s health, safety, and even their lives at risk. As such, it is critical to stop any crane that is side pulling a soon as such activity is noticeable.

That is why it is important to be vigilant. Side pulls can sometime be subtle and hard to detect. This does not make them any less dangerous. That is why close inspection and complete vigilance is always necessary. If you have been injured contact a crane accident lawyer today.