Last month, two Hanover construction workers lost their lives in a tragic crane accident. The workers were lifting a large and heavy generator for an air conditioning unit when two of the straps from the crane snapped, dropping the machine onto the workers. The generator weighed 10,000 pounds.
One worker was pronounced dead at the site. The other was transported to the hospital with severe crush injuries, but passed later that day. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is currently investigating the circumstances to determine why the straps from the crane failed so suddenly.
Construction Companies Need to Prevent Hoist Safety Hazards
While lifting and transporting heavy objects is essential for construction sites, there are many safety issues to consider given the number of serious injuries and deaths caused by crane accidents each year. The main types of crane safety hazards are electrical, overloading and hoist hazards, which is where objects fall from overhead.
Electrical hazards are usually caused when a metal part of the crane comes into contact with a high-voltage area of a local power line. Typically, this type of accident injures which ever worker is physically touching the crane. However, the risk extends to all workers on the site. These types of crane accidents most often occur when a lack of adequate planning is involved.
Overloading a crane, when the load exceeds the crane’s working capacity, causes roughly 80 percent of all incidents involved with cranes. The crane can be overloaded due to structural stresses, such as swinging the load, defective mechanisms, a load that is too heavy, dragging the load or side-loading. The majority of the time, these types of errors occur when workers are not properly trained.
Materials often fall when the load is not properly secured by slings and attachments. Human error generally causes this type of crane accident. However, it can also occur if the materials that hoist loads are not properly maintained. Maintenance should always be a priority to construction site companies and supervisors when working with cranes and other heavy machinery.
Contractors Have a Responsibility to Protect Construction Workers
Contractors or other construction companies need to make sure that all equipment is maintained to prevent crane accidents. Additionally, companies must ensure that anyone within the vicinity of the crane is properly trained and certified by OSHA standards. According to OSHA, the majority of construction accidents are preventable, if workers and companies comply with the proper safety standards.