Crane Accidents in Toledo
Although cranes play an important role in building and renovating, they can also be extremely dangerous for employees who work with and around them. Fortunately, in Ohio, when employees are injured on the job, they are eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits while they recover.
To learn more about filing your own claim for benefits, please contact a member of our workers’ compensation legal team who can evaluate your case for free.
Types of Cranes
The most common types of cranes can be divided into one of the following three categories:
- Tower cranes, which consist of a mast and a large rotating/lifting arm and are specifically designed to lift extremely heavy loads of concrete, steel, and construction equipment. These types of cranes are almost always assembled on site for permanent or long-term use.
- Crawler cranes, which are comprised of folded lattice arms and can be hauled via truck to construction sites. Some of the most common injuries are actually sustained by workers on the ground who are struck by improperly loaded cargo.
- Hydraulic mobile cranes, which are able to travel independently on either treads or tires. Even though these cranes extend only a few stories, they are actually responsible for more injuries than larger cranes. This is largely attributed to the frequency with which they are used and their proximity to workers on the ground.
Regardless of the type of crane, injuries sustained in their operation can be both painful and potentially deadly.
Common Accident Causes
Crane operation is complicated and any minor mistake could lead to an accident, which makes it especially important that employees be properly trained in operating procedures. While improper crane operation is the primary cause of most crane-related accidents, there are actually a number of situations that could cause a crane to malfunction. For example, all cranes have certain weight limits to ensure that they will not tip over during operation. To counterbalance their massive weight, cranes are equipped with counterweights and out-rigging systems. However, if the maximum weight is exceeded or the crane boom is extended beyond manufacturer specifications, these counterweights will be insufficient and an unsustainable amount of pressure will be put on the mechanical, structural, and hydraulic components of the crane. Overloading when the ground is soft or unstable increases this risk even further.
To safely operate a crane, there must be sufficient wood or metal supports, known as blocking, to stabilize the load. If a crane is not assembled correctly, these supports could fail and the unbalanced load may lead to a collapse. Still other accidents are the result of mechanical failure, often as a result of a lack of maintenance on the crane’s parts and components. Timely and consistent inspections can go a long way towards ensuring that these types of accidents are avoided. Unfortunately, inspections are often ignored in favor of completing a job more quickly.
One of the most common and dangerous types of crane accident occurs when a crane comes into contact with overhead power lines. If active power lines were not shut down prior to the work commencing, crane operators and workers in the crane basket risk electrocution, which can be deadly.
Call Today to Speak With a Dedicated Toledo Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Being involved in catastrophic accidents with heavy construction machinery can be both painful and emotionally taxing, especially for those who have mounting medical bills. To speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney about your own case, please contact Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC at 419-241-5500 today.