Chicago Crane Accident Attorneys
Cranes are used on various construction projects, from high-rise buildings to road and bridge projects. Although cranes are a necessary and vital piece of equipment, if proper safety procedures and precautions are not used, working on and even around the equipment could be deadly.
Any company or government project using crane equipment must maintain strict safety guidelines to protect those working on the construction project.
A Chicago, IL Crane Accident Attorney can Help
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers represent clients injured or killed in Chicago crane accidents.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation at (888) 424-5757. Let us begin working on your case today. You must file all time-sensitive information in the appropriate county courthouse before the statute of limitations expires.
Our attorneys currently represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, and the Chicago area, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Aurora, Chicago, Elgin, Joliet, Naperville, Rockford, and Schaumburg.
Crane Operators & Ground Workers Fatality Statistics
Many people are injured each year in crane construction accidents resulting in dozens of fatalities. The most common fatality accidents involving cranes are either from electrocution, the load dropping on workers, or the crane collapsing.
Crane accident fatalities statistics in over fourteen years from 1992-2006 revealed that most deaths occurred primarily on construction sites.
- A total of 632 wrongful deaths occurred over the period, averaging forty-two per year.
- Construction laborers suffered the most deaths, followed by equipment operators.
- Almost 25% of the deaths were due to electrocution, followed by being struck by load, crane collapse, and hit by the boom.
- About 71% of the fatalities involved mobile cranes, and 5% of the crane deaths involved tower cranes. The other 24% of crane deaths involved various overhead, barge, or floating cranes.
- From 1997-2006, crane-related fatalities ranged from a low of 62 in 2003 to 97 deaths in 1997.
Presenters at a 2010 Crane & Rigging Conference revealed data from crane-related deaths and serious injuries was presented by the Center For Construction Research & Training. The presenters broke down the types of accidents and causes, revealing 58 crane accident deaths in 2008.
Fifty-four of the dead were workers, and the remaining four were bystanders. There were 126 injuries, with one hundred happening to construction workers, crane operators, and the rest sustained by bystanders and rescue workers.
This year, crane collapses were the number one cause, attributing 39% of the injury and fatality incidents.
Preventing Crane Accidents
The use of heavy equipment, including cranes, requires many safety precautions on the worksite. All workers must be adequately trained and certified on all equipment.
Workers must perform correct maintenance on the equipment following a safety plan for each lift. According to OSHA, ways that construction site management and workers can improve crane safety are:
- Qualified and trained personnel. Only people who are trained and qualified on crane operation and maintenance should operate any crane function. Thoroughly inspect the equipment before use.
- Level, secure site. Operate cranes on a level, firm area.
- Safety plan. Develop a plan to avoid any dangers before operating the equipment. Plan to stay within load weight restrictions, not moving loads over workers, and look for dangers such as power lines.
- Check load stability. Raise the load a few inches, hold and check its stability and crane's braking system before moving the load.
Construction workers might have prevented nearly all heavy machinery and crane accident fatalities had safety protocols been followed.
Electrocution is the number killer in construction crane accidents. Having a good safety plan that includes awareness of all power lines and sources of electricity could eliminate many preventable deaths.
It is up to all construction management and workers to ensure they are adhering to safety guidelines to prevent any avoidable crane accidents. Even the Crane Inspection & Certification Bureau agrees that most crane accidents can and should be prevented.
Investigators point out human error accounts for about 90% of crane accidents that can be rectified by improved training. They warn that crane accidents could lead to legal liabilities for the construction companies and property owners and that improved training is less expensive than litigation costs.
Obtaining Workers' Compensation Benefits
Any employee injured in the workplace has a legal right to seek financial compensation through the Worker's Compensation program. The program provides benefits paid through the employer's insurance company coverage for medical expenses, hospitalization costs, time away from work, pain, and suffering.
Crane Accident Fatality FAQs
How Many People Die From Cranes?
Statistics maintained by the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) revealed that over 200 deaths are associated with crane-related accidents in 2015. All but three of the reported deaths involved men.
How can Crane Accidents be Prevented?
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), crane operators should not use the crane to lift loads weighing more than their rated capacity. All cranes are rated to lift loads lighter than 75% of the crane's tipping weight.
The crane operator and owner should ensure that the construction site is secured with installed fencing to prevent uninvited intruders from getting on or in the crane at any time.
Why do Cranes Collapse?
Typically, improper assembly is the leading factor in why cranes and booms collapse. Also, a lack of proper metal blocking supports can cause the crane to collapse when the operator cannot stabilize the lifting load.
What are the Most Common Crane Hazards?
Typically, crane operator incompetency is a leading factor in the hazardous conditions around a crane. Contractors and site developers must ensure that all workers on the construction site receive adequate training on and around the equipment and ensure that the roles are carried out safely and competently.
Other hazards in and around the crane are the result of falling loads, failing to lift the load with the needed equipment, or crushing injuries when workers are around lifting equipment and moving loads.
What is a Crane Checklist?
The crane operator must perform a visual inspection before using the crane. Check for any visible signs of damage to the outriggers, crane hook, and wire rolls.
The operator must ensure that the machine is in perfect operating condition by checking the brakes, the control system, warning signs, and gears. Finally, workers must visually inspect the area where the crane will be operated to identify any safety hazards.
Crane Accident Attorneys Working to Help You & Your Family
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC successfully resolves severe accidents on construction sites-including crane accidents in Chicago, Illinois. Our experience with crane accidents led us to develop a network of leading experts in crane design, operations, and construction safety.
Were you, or your loved one, injured in any crane-related accident? Please speak with us regarding your legal rights. As with all of our accident injury cases, there is never a fee to charge to talk with our lawyers about your situation.
Contact our personal injury attorneys today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to schedule a free consultation with any individual member of the firm at our main office location. All discussions with our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Please do not send sensitive information to our law office through voicemail, email, or text message.