Crane collapses cause considerable damage to persons and property. Because cranes can tower hundreds of feet into the air, they can cause damage and injuries over a widespread area. This makes it possible for them to cause injuries to workers and anyone passing by when the crane comes tumbling down. Every year, dozens of workers are injured or killed when the cranes they are working on come falling to the ground.
The most recent crane collapse occurred on September 19th in Schneider when a railroad crane collapsed. The collapse seriously injured the 65-year-old worker who was operating the crane. The cause of the collapse is still under investigation.
There are many factors that can cause crane injuries or bring a crane toppling to the ground. The causes of these construction site accidents can include:
Overloading – Cranes can be overloaded with cargo. As the crane attempts to lift the excessive load, the crane can become unstable and tip in the direction of the load. When this happens, it is often caused by improper supervision of workers executing the lift.
Assembly/Disassembly – Cranes are complex machines, and if nuts are missed, or bolts misplaced, the entire rig can become unstable during operation. If the ground isn’t properly prepared, or the crane is improperly assembled, it is unsafe to operate.
Mechanical Failure – If a crane’s booms, cables, or motors are improperly maintained, they can present a lethal threat to the crane operator and workers below. When these critical components fail, they can unbalance the lift and cause the crane to become unbalanced.
Weather – High winds, rain, snow, and ice can undermine the safety of a heavy crane. Wind can push cranes over, and ice can accumulate on the boom which can lead to overloading incidents.
Electricity- Nearly 40% of all crane accidents involve contact with overhead power lines or lightning. Primarily constructed of steel, electric current can flow easily through the structure electrocuting anyone in its path.
Workers’ compensation lawyers in Chicago can help recover damages for injuries suffered because of a crane collapse. Accidents caused by crane collapses can include broken bones, concussions/contusions, damage to internal organs, and many other injuries. When these injuries occur due to the neglect and negligence of employers and supervisors, workers in Illinois have the ability to pursue compensation that can help them get back on their feet again.