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Crane accidents

Construction sites can be very dangerous places and there are a number of potential hazards. One of the greatest hazards due to their size and purpose are cranes. Cranes are widely used on construction sites and whilst crane accidents are rare they do happen and when they do they can cause widespread damage and can result in serious injury or even fatalities.

In most cases crane accidents are caused by poor planning and supervision resulting in unstable cranes and any of the following (amongst others):

  • A crane overturning or collapsing
  • A worker becoming trapped or being thrown from a carrier
  • A crane being hit by another vehicle
  • Items falling from the crane
  • The crane coming into contact with overhead power lines
  • Errors made whilst assembling and dissembling

If a crane accident occurs and it results in injury then the injured party could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. This is because employers are under a duty of care towards their employee’s health and safety which includes providing safe equipment and machinery, as well as providing appropriate training. There are various other rules that have to be complied with when erecting a crane or conducting any mechanical lifting operation and under these regulations, in addition to their usual duties, employers have a further duty to ensure that every lifting operation is planned by a competent person, is supervised and is safe. This would also include checking weather conditions, conducting routine inspections, positioning the crane safely and providing appropriate safety equipment such as harnesses and hard hats.

Crane operator and supervisors should also take the following precautions:

  • Lifting loads slowly
  • Ensuring loads don’t exceed capacity
  • Attaching loads above the centre of gravity
  • Inspecting all rigging
  • Attaching tag lines prior to lifts
  • Ensuring that all personnel are clear of the lifting area
  • Being observant of any obstructions
  • Verifying hooks close completely
  • Making the appropriate signals
  • Never leaving loads unattended

Compensation

You could be entitled to compensation regardless of whether your injuries are major or minor, but the amount of compensation you will be awarded will of course depend on the extent of your injuries. The purpose of the compensation is to put the employee in the position they would have been in had the crane accident not taken place. The compensation will therefore take into account both physical and psychological injuries as well any expenses (such as medical expenses) and other losses (such as loss of income if the employee is unable to return to work).

Making a Claim

Crane accidents can cause a lot of distress and inconvenience not only to employees but also to their families. As mentioned above, if you have been the victim of a crane accident then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation, provided that the accident was caused by the negligence of a third party (your employer). If you are partially to blame you can still bring a claim but the amount of compensation you will be entitled to may be reduced. In any event if you wish to make a claim then you should instruct a personal injury solicitor within three years of the accident.

We may well be able to work on your case on a no win no fee basis, which means that if your claim is unsuccessful you will not pay any legal fees. If however your claim is successful then your legal fees will be paid by your employer’s insurance company. Simply fill in our claim form to start the process with a free and fast assessment.

Call us for free: 0800 015 5500