New Jersey Crane Accident Lawyers
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The risk of injury or death while operating a crane is high, and construction companies need to take the appropriate steps to make their sites as safe as possible for workers and crew members. More than 250,000 crane operators are at risk of serious and often fatal injury due to accidents involving cranes, derricks, hoists, and hoisting accessories.
Employers have a duty to comply with OSHA standards that include the following regulations:
- If the power lines are not de-energized, operate cranes in the area only if a safe minimum clearance is maintained.
- Where it is difficult for the crane operator to maintain safe clearance by visual means, designate a person to observe the clearance and to give immediate warning when the crane approaches the limits of safe clearance.
- Do not use cage-type boom guards, insulating links, or proximity warning devices as a substitute for the de-energizing and grounding lines or maintaining safe clearance.
- De-energize and visibly ground electrical distribution and transmission lines at the point of work.
- Use insulated barriers that are not a part of the crane to prevent contact with the lines.
Many crane related accidents involve mobile cranes, so, many "non-crane" workers have also suffered serious injuries. These non-crane operators include mechanics, oil workers, ironworkers, riggers, and stevedores.
According to OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), there are approximately 125,000 cranes in operation in the construction industry as well as an additional 80,000-100,000 in general and maritime industries. If you have been injured in a crane accident, contact Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. today for a free evaluation. Our New Jersey workplace injury attorneys have experience in handling construction accident cases for clients that have been injured on the job.
There are several different types of cranes in existence, and it’s common to catch sight of them on a construction site any time heavy lifting is necessary. Depending on the kind of work being performed, any one of the following may be in operation during a construction project.
- Tower Crane: These are typically used in the construction of especially tall buildings. A tower crane is capable of lifting approximately 20 tons and can reach a height of 265 feet. They are fixed to the ground using a strong concrete base and anchors.
- Vehicle Mounted Crane: Also known as truck-mounted cranes, these are placed on vehicles so they can be easily transported to wherever they are needed. At the construction site, outriggers are applied to the base of the vehicle to stabilize the crane while it’s in use.
- Rough Terrain Crane: Rough terrain cranes are also mounted on a vehicle, but unlike truck-mounted cranes, they are suitable for jobs that involve off-road work or movement on rugged landscapes. They are mounted to an undercarriage with specially designed tires and stabilized with outriggers.
- Aerial Crane: This is an unconventional kind of crane that resembles a helicopter. Also called sky cranes, they are utilized for particularly heavy loads that are too difficult to reach on land.
- Telescopic Crane: This crane has a boom with many tubes that are fitted inside one another. The tubes are extended or retracted by a hydraulic mechanism to determine the length of the boom.
- Floating Crane: Floating cranes are used in the construction of bridges, dams, and ports. They have an extremely large loading capacity and are supported by being mounted to a barge or pontoon.
- Crawler Crane: Crawler cranes move on treads and are promoted as being remarkably stable. They come in handy on land that hasn’t been developed and are able to distribute weight across a large area.
Whether it’s a construction worker or an innocent bystander, cranes pose a serious danger to anyone who is nearby when they are in use. The types of cranes that most often cause injury or death include tower cranes, floating cranes, and any crane that is mobile. The safety concern with tower cranes is that they are positioned at such a high elevation above the ground. It’s critical that they are equipped with extra safety devices and all precautions are carefully taken. When it comes to mobile cranes, incidents generally occur because of instability, exceeding the load capacity, working on uneven or soft ground, or having an unsecured load that makes the crane tip over. Mobile cranes must be correctly secured to the ground before being put to work.
OSHA identified the major causes of crane accidents to include:
- Boom or crane contact with energized power lines (nearly 45% of the cases)
- Under the hook lifting device
- Overturned cranes
- Dropped loads
- Boom collapse
- Crushing by the counter weight
- Outrigger use
- Rigging failures
Injured victims often lose time at work and endure financial hardship because of their injuries. While workers compensation may provide some support, the victims and their families suffer because of medical costs or decreased income.
Our NJ construction site accident lawyer handle complex accident cases for clients that have been injured on the job. Our team of aggressive lawyers has the knowledge to fight your case and recover damages for your suffering.
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