Modern cranes, aerial lifts, work platforms, boom trucks, and mobile cranes are amazing technological advancements compared to the industrial equipment of yesteryear. However, these newfangled cranes, forklifts, and other machinery have led to an increasing number of accidents and serious injuries that have been making the front pages of newspapers across Virginia (VA) and the rest of the country.
Crane accidents can occur in a variety of ways. For example, cranes can tip over or they can contact power lines resulting in electrocution. Cranes lifting large loads can become unstable and fall. The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that an average of 82 crane accidents lead to a loss of life each and every year. In 2009, there were 303 crane accidents and 197 reported lives lost. Another analysis indicated that 84 percent of crane accident deaths involve the use of mobile cranes.
The existing rules for workers who operate cranes, created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have not been updated since 1971, though the agency acknowledges modernized standards could help prevent future accidents, according to craneaccidents.com.
You may be saying to yourself, "Accidents are unavoidable. What is wrong with these modern cranes, forklifts, and other devices?" Well, a 2008 Associated Press survey showed that, in 35 U.S. states, licensing is not required for crane operation. Instead, the crane industry is left to regulate itself through American National Standards Institute (ANSI). If you want to see just how risky it is to have an industry essentially regulating itself, take a look at British Petroleum (BP) and the ramifications of the Gulf oil spill.
Crane manufacturers like North American Industries, Superior Crane, Mt Clemens Crane certainly don't intend to have accidents and crane malfunctions occur but they are increasingly marketing their products to a wider customer base hoping to make their products more accessible, regardless of qualifications in operating those products.
With minimal oversight, and over-taxed OSHA inspectors covering a burgeoning industry, there may be corners cut and unnecessary risks taken. Serious and catastrophic injuries, and deaths, can result from accidents involving heavy industrial equipment industries, including crane, and lift manufacturers.
If you or a loved one was seriously hurt in a crane or forklift accident, consult with an attorney right away. This is extremely important, especially if you were an innocent bystander who had was hit by falling debris from a crane or inadvertently hit by a forklift in a work zone. Do not hesitate contacting a lawyer out of fear of taking on a big industrial company. Let us handle that. We have decades of real trial experience and have a track record of successful verdicts against big companies. If you were the victim of a preventable crane malfunction or forklift accident, we will fight to get the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.