Chicago Crane Accident Lawyer
Cranes are used in various construction projects, from high-rise buildings to road and bridge projects. Although a necessary and vital piece of equipment, if proper safety procedures and precautions are not used, working on and around cranes can be deadly.
Any company or government project using this type of machinery must maintain strict security guidelines to protect those working on the construction project.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers in Chicago, Illinois represent clients injured or killed in a crane accident. Contact us toll-free today for a free consultation at (888) 424-5757.
Have you been injured in a crane accident? Let us begin working on your Chicago construction accident case today.
Our experienced crane accident lawyers represent clients in construction accident cases throughout the state and across Chicago, Illinois, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Aurora, Elgin, Joliet, Naperville, Rockford, and Schaumburg.
Fatality Statistics For Crane Operators & Workers On The Ground
Many people are injured each year in crane construction accidents; dozens of these are fatalities. The most common crane-related fatalities involve electrocution, the load dropping on workers, or the crane collapsing.
In a look at construction crane accident fatalities over 14 years from 1992-2006, specific construction accidents are common.
There were a total of 632 wrongful deaths over the period, averaging forty-two per year. Construction laborers were the most common type of worker killed, followed by equipment operators. Almost 25% of the fatalities were due to electrocution, followed by being struck by payload, crane collapse, and struck by the boom.
Mobile crane equipment was involved in 71% of the fatalities. Tower cranes were only involved in 5% of the fatalities. The other 24% were a variety of overhead, barge, or floating cranes.
Overall, crane fatalities are even higher. From 1997-2006, crane-related fatalities ranged from a low of 62 in 2003 to 97 deaths in 1997.
At a 2010 Crane & Rigging Conference, the data from crane-related deaths and serious injuries was presented by the Center For Construction Research & Training, identifying accident categories and causes. In 2008, there were 58 deaths from crane accidents.
Fifty-four were injured workers, and four of the dead were bystanders. There were 126 injuries, with one hundred happening to construction workers, crane operators, and the rest sustained by bystanders and rescue workers.
That year, crane collapses were the number one cause, attributing 39% of the personal injury and fatality incidents.
Preventing a Crane Accident
The use of a crane or other heavy equipment in Illinois and nationwide requires many security precautions on the worksite to protect construction workers and bystanders.
Safety measures involve ensuring that all workers are adequately trained and certified on all machinery and ensure correct maintenance is performed on the equipment and a security 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 in crane operation and maintenance should operate any crane function. Machinery should be properly inspected before use.
- Level, secure site. Crane equipment should only be operated on a level, firm area.
- Safety plan. Before the operation, there should be a plan to avoid any dangers, including planning to stay within weight restrictions, not moving loads over workers, and looking for dangers such as power lines.
- Check load stability. Raise the load a few inches, hold and check stability, and braking before moving the load.
Nearly all heavy machinery and crane accident fatalities can be prevented. Electrocution is the number killer in construction crane accidents.
A good security plan involving awareness of all power lines and electricity sources could eliminate many preventable deaths. All construction management and workers must ensure they adhere to safety guidelines to prevent avoidable crane accidents.
Even the Crane Inspection & Certification Bureau agrees that most crane accidents can and should be prevented. They point that 90% of crane accidents are human errors that can be rectified by improved training.
The Bureau warns that a construction accident can 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 After a Chicago, IL Crane Accident
Any worker 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.
In addition to workers' comp benefits, our Chicago crane accident attorneys will evaluate your case with a free consultation to determine if another entity is responsible, in which case we can pursue a third-party lawsuit to recover additional benefits not offered under Illinois work comp law, including:
- Medical care
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death benefits
Crane Accident Fatality FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions related to personal injuries and preventable deaths involving crane equipment. We appreciate that there is no way to prepare for an incident like this.
Consequently, we invite you to contact our law office for a free consultation and case review with one of the Chicago crane accident attorneys in our law firm if you have suffered an injury in a crane accident. We are here to help.
How Many People Die from Cranes?
Statistics maintained by the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) revealed that over 200 fatalities are associated with crane-related accidents in 2015. All but three of the reported victims’ deaths involved men, resulting from a negligent act.
All companies responsible for causing the victims’ preventable deaths could be held financially accountable to ensure the surviving family members receive compensation for their losses.
How Can Crane Accidents Be Prevented?
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), crane operators should not use the crane to lift loads greater than its rated capacity. Every crane is 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.
Why Do Cranes Collapse?
Typically, improper assembly is the leading factor in crane boom collapses. Also, a lack of proper metal blocking supports can cause the crane to topple when the operator cannot stabilize the lifting weight.
What Are the Most Common Crane Hazards?
Crane driver negligence is a leading factor in the hazardous conditions around a crane. Contractors and site developers must ensure that all people on the construction site receive adequate training on and around the crane and ensure that the roles are carried out safely and competently.
Other hazards in and around the crane result from falling loads, failing to lift the load with the needed equipment or crushing injuries when construction employees work 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 roads.
The operator must ensure that the machine is in perfect operating condition by checking the brakes, the control system, warning signs, and years.
Finally, the area where the crane will be operated must be visually inspected to identify any safety hazards.
Chicago Crane Accident Lawyers Working to Help You & Your Family
The Chicago, IL law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is experienced in handling serious accidents on construction sites–including crane accidents. Our experience with crane accidents has allowed us to develop a network of some of the leading experts in crane design, operations, and construction security.
Was your loved one a worker injured in any construction accident? Contact us and let’s discuss the law and your legal rights. As with all of our Chicago construction accident cases, there is never a fee to charge to talk to our lawyers about your situation.
Contact our Illinois injury law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to schedule a free case consultation with one of our Chicago crane accident lawyers. All discussions with a lawyer from our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
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