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Crane Accident Claims
Although thankfully not many crane accidents happen in the UK, there is reportedly at least one fatality every year. If you have suffered any injuries that weren’t your fault as a result of a crane accident at work, the specialist personal injury team at Smith Jones Solicitors can help you to get the compensation you deserve.
In the building and construction industry, cranes are incredibly useful pieces of equipment for lifting heavy materials and machinery. Cranes themselves, like the construction sites they operate on, come in a variety of different sizes.
Your employer is legally required to ensure the equipment used is good and fit for purpose. Risk assessments should be undertaken to be satisfied they are safe to use and regular maintenance checks should be carried out. Employees need to hold a driving licence to operate a crane and sufficient training should be provided by employers prior to allowing them to take control.
Cranes, like any piece of construction machinery and equipment, can be incredibly dangerous and as such there are a variety of risks of injury that come with working with them. Although there is a wide range of different crane accidents that can occur, it is likely that accidents will come under one of the categories outlined below.
Items Falling From The Crane
An accident may involve items falling down from the crane itself. Depending on the size and weight of the item dropped, and the height that it is dropped from, this kind of accident can have serious consequences. As there is a wide range of different items that cranes are able to lift and move, when they fail, these items can fall too. For instance, a crane being used to lift and move heavy jibs or sections of steel or wood can pose potential risks for damages and injuries when problems occur.
The Crane Toppling Over
Cranes are designed to handle and lift items of a particular size and weight. This is different from model to model. However, if cranes are operated negligently, either as a result of the crane not being balanced properly, mounted properly or being used to lift heavier weights than they are designed for – this can result in them toppling over. Although this is not particularly common, it does happen, and there have been a few notable cases in the past few years where this kind of crane accident has occurred.
Injury From a Swinging Hook
Crane accidents can also occur if the heavy hook often used is not tied and secured properly. It can cause serious injuries to any construction workers and considerable damage to whatever it strikes. As well as the swinging hook itself loosening and hitting workers or property, accidents can occur involving anything being actually lifted by it.
Plant Failure Causing the Accident
As is the case with any workplace machinery, particularly in a construction environment, it is the employer/owner’s responsibility to ensure that all cranes used are kept in good working condition. Inspections, repairs and any other maintenance must be carried out regularly to ensure that construction workers, visitors to the site and any other people within the vicinity of the site are safe. If the employer or owner fails to fulfil these responsibilities, cranes can malfunction and accidents can happen.
Hitting Dangerous Overhead Objects / Powerlines
This is perhaps the most common types of crane accidents that are likely to occur and can cause considerable personal injury and damage. Although power lines are hard to miss, all it takes is a movement of a crane in the wrong direction to cause an accident. As well as significant damage to the power lines, they can cause damages to the machinery or even electrocution to the crane operator or anyone else in the vicinity. Read more about electric shock claims
How can construction accidents be prevented from happening in the first place? This kind of prevention should take place before work even begins on a construction site. Risk assessments should be carried out to ensure any potential risks to workers are identified and measures are taken to prevent accidents. This includes identifying dangerous and problematic obstructions such as power lines located over sites. A working plan should then be put into place that takes these risks into consideration.
Any individual who works on the crane, such as the operator, and anyone involved in loading items onto it, should be properly trained and possess the appropriate certification of their competency to carry out their duties. Even general construction workers, such as those that are not directly involved in cranes, should be trained to an adequate degree so that they are aware of all the risks associated with them.
Making a Crane Accident Claim For Compensation
If you have suffered any injury caused by a crane accident, it is likely you will be able to claim compensation. If you can establish that the accident you were involved in was as a result of defective machinery failure or someone else’s negligence, as noted above, there is a good chance your claim will be successful.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, crane accident claims can be rather complex. It is therefore advised that you seek the advice and expertise of a specialist personal injury lawyer, like the team at Smith Jones, to help you with every step of the compensation process. You should keep in mind that there is a time limit for personal injury compensation claims of 3 years, so it is crucial that you take action as soon after an accident has occurred as possible.