A construction worker is facing criminal charges after hoisting two workers, one of whom was his son, 80 feet into the air using a crane marked for repairs. The basket the two men were in came loose and plummeted to the ground killing both men. This fatal accident is only one incident that highlights the importance of safety regulations and protocol. Anyone who works in the construction industry has the right to safe workplace so they can return home to their family members each day.
Inspections are crucial
Inspections are crucial before using a crane. Cal-OSHA officials cite the failure to inspect for that fatal accident. All moving components of the crane should go through the inspection process. If an item or personnel hoist, such as a basket, is necessary, check the connections. Without someone knowledgeable inspecting everything, there isn’t any way to ensure that workers can use them safely. At a minimum, all cranes, hoists and lifts must go through the inspection process at least once per shift.
Risks should be minimized
Cranes have three primary risks – falling objects, overloading, and electrical hazards. Properly securing anything attached to the crane can help to prevent falls, but you must go beyond checking only the point where the item attaches to the crane. If you are hoisting a basket or anything with multiple pieces, you must secure each piece. Secure anything in a basket before hoisting the basket.
Each crane has a weight limit, which is the maximum it can handle without tipping or failing. Be sure the items you lift are under the maximum load limit. Insulation and all electrical components must be in good shape, so check all coverings and wiring that you can see. If you notice any fraying or worn components, tag out the crane and address the issues before using the crane.
Don’t forget external factors
Things around cranes are also hazards. Electrical lines, other heavy equipment, active work areas, uneven ground, and similar hazards can be devastating i f the crane comes into contact with them. Crane operators must pay attention to everything that is going on around the crane. Touching a component of the crane to a power line can cause a fatal accident, as can crashing into an active work area or trying to operate the crane on uneven ground.
Injured crane workers can opt to seek compensation, but the party from which they seek compensation can vary. Filing a workers’ compensation claim or third-party claim is possible depending on the circumstances of the accident.