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Crane Operators

A crane is a complex piece of heavy machinery used to lift and carry large loads not transportable by trucks. Modern cranes are able to move larger loads more quickly than ever before and are used across many industries including construction, mining, pulp mills, shipping, and oil and gas refineries. Crane operators are at risk of serious injury should anything happen such as a crane collapse, crane tip over, or structural failure of the crane.

Operator Duties

A crane operator has great responsibility because of the size of the equipment being operated and the crane’s weight and load lifting capacities. There are many different types of cranes including tower, crawler, overhead, aerial, floating, railroad and telescopic cranes. A crane operator must be properly trained and certified to use the crane being employed for the job.

Some crane operator duties include:

  • Operating the crane according to signals from assistants
  • Moving materials according to a schedule set by the site operator
  • Daily safety inspections of the crane
  • Making minor repairs to the crane if necessary
  • Placing blocks and outriggers to prevent tip overs
  • Completing paperwork that documents the movement of materials

Each year crane accidents claim the lives of almost 90 workers, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Crane operators are also at risk for injuries such as:

 Some common crane accidents and their causes include:
  • Electrocution – Unfortunately, the most common accident involving cranes occurs when part of the crane comes into contact with live power wires electrocuting the crane operator.
  • Falls – Crane operators use a system of ladders to enter the cab where they do their work. Weather conditions such as snow, ice, rain, and wind can make it hazardous for the crane operator to reach the cab.
  • Crane Tip Over – Tip overs can result from cranes being situated on unstable platforms or ground that has not been properly leveled. It can also result from a failure to load the crane properly.
  • Crane Collapse – If the crane boom is extended beyond the manufacturer’s specifications it can collapse and injure both the operator and any workers below. Crane collapses can also occur as the result of improper set up, high wind conditions, and insufficient counterweight.
  • Flawed Assembly – It is crucial to assemble, disassemble, and operate a crane only according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Failure to do so brings great risk of injury to the crane operator and the workers around the crane.

Next Steps if Injured

In Pennsylvania, crane operators who suffer injuries in a work-related accident are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Because Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system, the injured party may receive benefits even if they were at fault for the accident. Exceptions to this include horseplay at work, and employees who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol while at work.

If the accident that caused the injuries was due to the negligence of a third-party, victims may also be able to recover compensation through a personal injury or product liability action. For example, if the crane being operated was defective, either in design or in any of the components, the manufacturer of the crane and/or its parts may be held liable for injuries.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP Represent Workers Injured on the Job

If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, contact a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer of Gross & Kenny, LLP. Call 267-589-0090 or complete our online form to schedule a free initial consultation. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, allowing us to serve Pennsylvania and New Jersey.