In some business sectors, the importance of using cranes is quite large because of their function. In sectors such as construction, cranes have an important role in carrying heavy loads vertically and horizontally. For this reason, it is almost mandatory to use them in construction. Although cranes are indispensable in certain sectors and useful, they can also be dangerous. Serious injuries or even death can result from these accidents. In addition, it can cause problems such as business disruption and financial loss. To avoid these, crane safety tips need to be implemented. These precautions should be implemented by employees and employers. It is important to be careful about the type of vehicle that is used in construction or trained for the job. For example, if a load greater than the crane’s capacity is carried, the crane counterweight may become insufficient and the crane may tip over. Many different crane accidents like this can happen, but almost all of them can be avoided with crane safety tips.

Crane Accidents Statistics

Crane accidents are among the types of accidents that should be considered on a construction site. To the extent of a study conducted in 2011–2015, 48% of this accidents happen in the construction sector. In particular, the manufacturing industry accounts for 24% of these injuries. In this study, it was found that these accidents happen in different areas of construction. From this point of view, the primary sector that needs to take precautions and take action against this accidents is the construction sector. Based on statistics, the most common causes of these accidents are operator errors, loss of control, overturning of the crane, or overloading.

Types of Crane Accidents

Considering their size and weight, cranes are bound to cause serious injury, and these accidents can occur in different ways. For example, among the frequently encountered crane accidents, the load drop is the first. Cranes are generally preferred for carrying very heavy materials. If this material is not secured when loaded onto the crane or is heavier than the crane can carry, it may fall and injure someone. Similarly, overloading while carrying heavy material can cause the crane to tip over. In addition, a crane can cause serious injuries when it comes into contact with power lines. The crane may be electrocuted if it does not comply with this rule. It should always be located further away from the power line. Another common example of an accident is when cranes collide with surrounding objects. Situations such as the operator’s lack of attention or communication problems can cause this type of accident.

Causes of Crane Accidents

There are many reasons why crane accidents happen. Although most of these accidents are caused by the operator, environmental factors also have an impact. For example, if the workplace is unsafe, then an accident is inevitable. Precautions like providing a broad area for the cranes in case of an accident are important. Accidents also occur when a crane is loaded beyond its capacity. Overloading may cause the crane to tip over and injure the operator and the people around it. Operator-related accidents are the most common cause. The operator’s lack of attention, insufficient training, and experience, loss of crane controls, and mistakes during lifting operations are caused by the operator and invite many accidents. In addition to these, environmental factors are also effective in accidents. Weather conditions like williwaw or downpours can cause it to blow down the cranes. The operation of the crane on extremely rainy and windy days is very dangerous at this point.

Who is Liable in a Crane Accident?

Accidents can be caused by many different reasons, and those responsible for the accident may change. The large majority of crane accidents are caused by human error. For example, if the crane operator doesn’t know how to use the crane or doesn’t pay attention to the rules while using the crane, an accident is inevitable. Crane owners and employers also have responsibilities to ensure safety in the workplace. Because of this, crane owners and employers are liable for possible accidents. They have to organize the employee’s working environment. Apart from these, the company producing the crane may have acted negligently, which may have caused an accident. More than one person can be liable for crane accidents at the same time. That’s why who is liable in a crane accident is a difficult question to figure out every time.

Safety Tips for Crane Accident

Cranes have great importance in many business sectors, especially in the construction field. It needs to be made safe, as it plays a big role in lifting heavy loads and positioning them in the right place. Some safety tips can be followed to prevent possible crane accidents. For example, a suitable work plan must be created for each job to be performed, and a suitable crane must be used for each job. The operator who will use the crane must be fully competent; if not, the necessary training must be taken. Care must be taken to carry weight according to the load capacity so that the crane does not tip over and fail. It is also recommended to start the work taking into account the weather conditions and the ground structure. Although technically one person uses the crane, it is a team effort. For this reason, good communication should be ensured.

OSHA Crane Safety Regulations

OSHA contains a set of rules created in the USA to ensure that cranes are used safely to a certain standard. With the help of this regulation contained herein, employees are protected from all crane accidents. There are certain rules about many processes, such as training, maintenance, repair, and certification. Both employees and employers must follow these rules.

1. OSHA 1910.179

In this regulation, there are general safety instructions that include the working principles, maintenance, and inspection of overhead and gantry cranes required for the transport of heavy loads. The regulation includes not only manually operated cranes but also types of cranes that can be powered.

2. OSHA Overhead Crane Training Requirements

All the training that crane operators need and should receive is included. OSHA stipulates that operators must be trained and certified by crane type. In this way, crane operators can work in jobs appropriate to their competencies and prevent related accidents. Under these regulations, not only an external certification but also an internal certification within the institution becomes necessary. Thus, this training and certification prevent possible crane accidents caused by training.

Okan Ergin

Okan Ergin

Okan Ergin has been working as the General Coordinator at Ergin Makina since 2005.