Cranes are commonplace on construction sites in Mississippi and around the country. When workers use them properly, cranes facilitate progress on tough jobs. When something goes wrong, though, the potential for serious job-related bodily injury is high.
Recently, more than 20 construction workers sustained injuries when two cranes collided on a construction site in Texas. Crane collisions are not a frequent cause of crane accidents, however. Instead, these accidents usually happen for three other reasons.
1. Contact with power lines
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration reports that nearly half of all crane accidents occur when the crane or its boom collides with power lines. When this happens, electricity moves through the crane to the ground. Anyone on or near the crane may suffer a potentially life-threatening electrocution.
2. Errors with assembly and disassembly
Because cranes are in short supply, workers must regularly assemble and disassemble them. If someone makes a mistake, the crane may not perform correctly. Even worse, it may collapse, putting the operator and workers on the ground in extreme danger.
3. Crushing from mechanical parts and dropped loads
Crane operators have limited visibility. If a worker moves into a crane’s operational space, he or she is at risk of a crush injury. Accordingly, construction workers must follow OSHA’s standards when working near the crane’s boom, counterweight or outrigger.
Furthermore, workers must never stand beneath a moving load. If the load dislodges and falls, it may pin a worker. Even with immediate medical treatment, crush injuries and other crane-related ones may cause a worker to have a permanent disability.