An estimated 250,000 workers use aerial lifts such as cherry pickers, boom trucks, and bucket trucks each year, putting them at risk for falls, electrocution, and a list of other possible serious injuries on the job.
The majority of these workers are in the construction, painting, tree-cutting, or utility industries. To prevent accidents while working on aerial lift equipment, it is important that employers are vigilant in ensuring that all safety precautions are being implemented and our bucket truck accident lawyers can help ensure that happens!
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC appreciates the dangers a bucket truck poses to a worker and those working around him. Contact an experienced bucket truck accident lawyer today for a free consultation.
Common Types of Bucket Truck Accidents
There are always fall risks when working at elevated levels. Anyone working on a cherry picker or bucket truck has the risk of falling, but there are other hazards.
Since these devices are often attached to utility trucks, they are mobile and have the risk of moving or being hit by other moving vehicles and are often in different locations.
Some common causes of bucket truck injuries and fatalities include:
- Falling from the lift. From boom-supported lifts like cherry pickers and bucket trucks, 50% of falls are due to being ejected from the lift. This can be caused by the impact of hitting or being hit by other vehicles or objects, sudden jerking motions, or falling objects.
- Electrocution. Many injuries and fatalities working on aerial lifts are due to coming in contact with power lines. This can be from workers that maintain the power lines or construction lifts that inadvertently hit power lines.
- Tip-over. If improper weights are in lifts, the truck’s load limits are exceeded, the truck is moved or the vehicle is not stable while using a lift, there can be tip-over accidents from great heights. These incidents can lead to fractures, internal crushing, and fatalities.
Disturbing Accident Rates With Bucket Trucks
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 there were 39 fatalities directly blamed on elevating devices such as cherry pickers and aerial lifts that were not truck mounted.
Another 66 fatalities were directly attributed to truck-mounted lifts. Another 34 fatalities listed these types of equipment as the secondary cause of death in workers. In addition, there are also fatalities from electrocution while using an elevating device, but these are not included in these numbers.
There are several industries that are at high risk for fatal accidents and injuries due to unsafe work practices and defective equipment.
According to the Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health, electricians are at the highest risk. Construction workers, electrical and power installers, painters, utility workers, and carpenters follow them as other high-risk professions that have large injury and fatality rates from aerial lifts.
Safe Work Practices to Prevent Bucket Truck Injuries
Aerial lifts have similar risks as cranes and other elevated work equipment but have the additional element of also being mobile. This makes using all safety precautions even more crucial as there are outside influences these workers may have to contend with.
Precautions that should be used are:
- Equipment inspection. All equipment on the lifts should be inspected before use to make sure it is working correctly to prevent jerking and mechanical failure. This includes the extendable pole, the electric motor on the lift, and the truck’s brakes.
- Worksite safety. Cherry pickers and bucket trucks need to be parked on a level, on stable ground, and have an emergency brake set; never move the truck with anyone in the lift. Be aware of wind elements that can cause dangerous lift conditions.
- Stable loads. All weight requirements should be adhered to as well as not using the lift for uneven loads.
- Safe loads. Within the weight parameters set forth by the product manufacturer
- Wear safety equipment. An employee should use a safety harness, hard hats, and other safety equipment should always be maintained.
- Avoid the nearest live power lines. Keep a minimum distance from overhead power lines.
- Ensure that workers are properly trained before using basket cranes
Aerial lifts are needed to perform many jobs and are quicker and safer than using ladders and other lifting devices. However, there are many risks both from the job itself and outside factors.
Any industry using these devices needs to take the proper safety precautions to ensure their workers are being protected.
Defendants in Bucket Truck Accident Lawsuits
Here are some of the people who may be sued in bucket truck accidents:
- Product manufacturers who have made defective equipment
- The company that provided maintenance staff to repair and inspect the bucket truck
- Another driver caused an accident with a bucket truck
Note that you cannot sue your own employer for negligence, even if they failed to follow OSHA regulations in the bucket of losing control. However, there is a chance that you may sue your employer for failing to provide personal protective equipment such as body harnesses.
Compensation for Accidents in Bucket Trucks and Other Aerial Lifts
In most cases, we have successfully recovered damages for our clients, based upon:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Funeral costs
- Compensation for pain and disability
We understand that bucket truck accident victims have financial obligations, and we will work for you to get every dollar that you deserve.
Contact a Bucket Truck Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Very few attorneys have extensive experience litigating accidents involving bucket trucks (cherry pickers) accidents. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, our truck accident lawyers have successfully prosecuted aerial lift accidents for injured people involving: defective products, negligent operation, and inadequate maintenance.
Contact our office today for a free case evaluation to discuss your legal rights with our uniquely experienced construction worker injury attorneys. Call our law offices anytime at (888) 424-5757.