According to OSHA, more than 250,000 crane operators and a large number of other workers, as well as the general public, are at risk of suffering an injury from one of more than 125,000 cranes currently in operation. Unfortunately, a Western Pennsylvania employee recently became one of the many victims of a crane accident. The worker was performing tasks at a manufacturing plant when he was killed in an industrial accident.
Our Philadelphia, PA personal injury attorneys believe that this tragic incident should serve as an important reminder to employers and employees about how dangerous cranes can be. The fatal industrial accident is still being investigated by OSHA, but crane accidents often occur when safety rules are not followed to the letter.
Crane Accidents Put People at Risk
According to ABC News 27, the recent Pennsylvania crane accident occurred when the worker was moving a large steel coil at an industrial warehouse that produces siding and metal roofing products. The crane was a 15-ton overhead crane and the coil weighed an estimated 10,000 pounds.
As the heavy coil was moved, another coil – this one weighing 5,000 pounds – moved from its position and struck the worker. The worker was trapped by the large coil and a stack of other coils that were located nearby. He suffered chest injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. OHSA is currently investigating how the accident occurred to determine if there were any safety violations or if anything could have been done to prevent this tragedy.
OSHA Tips on Crane Safety
Recognizing how dangerous cranes can be, OSHA has provided extensive guidelines on crane operation and maintenance. OSHA has also published some important safety tips for crane operation. Some of these tips include the following:
- Allow only authorized and trained personnel to operate cranes.
- All crane parts and crane controls must be inspected by a designated and qualified person before the crane is used for any purpose.
- When operating, cranes must be level, and they must be located on a surface that is solid and stable.
- Pins should not be removed or unlocked during either assembly or disassembly until you have made sure that all sections are stable, secure and blocked.
- Before operating a crane, survey the area to determine if there are overhead electrical power lines. There must be a distance of no less than 10 feet from the electrical power lines and the crane in order to ensure safety.
- The load chart capacity of the crane should never be exceeded. The correct load charge must be chosen and utilized given the current setup and configuration of the crane as well as the lift path.
- Before delivering the load, it should be raised slightly by a few inches, and it should be verified that the crane will hold.
- Loads should never be moved over the heads of workers.
These are just a few of the key tips that OSHA provides to protect those who are using cranes or who work in the environment where cranes are located. Following these tips is very important to protect workers and the public.
If you have been injured in an accident contact our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Flager & Yockey at 1-215-953-5200.