Cranes are common equipment used in the offshore industry here in Louisianna and the Gulf Coast. These cranes are also known as derricks. Cranes are used to carry heavy loads in an effective manner by lifting the item/items and moving them to an area within the worksite. When cranes are used in a negligent manner or have manufacturer defects, they can easily lead to an accident in the workplace. Innocent bystanders can also be harmed due to a load falling to the ground. These type of derrick accidents happen far more often than one would think, with individuals working in the oil rig industry often killed due to such accidents.
At Cueria Law Firm, we are familiar with crane accidents and derrick accidents and how they take place due to mechanical failures of the crane or operator negligence. Because of the increase in fatalities due to crane accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration decided to impose strict regulations on how to operate cranes in a safe manner.
How is a Crane Designed?
Understanding the design of a crane can help one to understand why a malfunction can be costly. Every part of the crane depends on another part. If one part fails to function properly, it will lead to even more failure within the system.
Major components of the crane include the lever, pulley and the hydraulic cylinder. The lever is the component responsible for lifting a heavy object without tipping over. The beam is horizontal and pivots around the fulcrum with the heavy load going towards the lower end and the longer end providing the force for the opposite direction.
The pulley is an axle that moves the belt, wire, and cable around. The cables of the crane are wrapped around a fixed part which helps to lift loads. The hydraulic cylinder is the portion of the crane that provides the power to lift the load.
What Are The Causes of Crane and Derrick Accidents?
So what causes crane accidents? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of injuries caused by cranes are due to human error. If operators were to obey the specifications of the manufacturer when operating the machinery, it would prevent dozens of yearly deaths. Many accidents are caused by the operator hoisting items that exceed the operational capacity of the crane.
Common accidents are caused by an object or the equipment, falls, transportation incidents and contact with electrical currents. Because the most common accident type is due to human error, such incidents end up in court. Crane accidents will be taken to court in order to find who is at fault and seek compensation.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a crane accident, we can review your case and help you seek compensation. Crane accident victims can claim past expenses for medical treatment as well as seek assistance for future treatment needs. Punitive damages may also be awarded for trauma or mental anguish.
Common Injuries Due to Crane Accidents
When a crane accident occurs, it can lead to injury or death. Such injuries can include:
- Broken/fractured bones
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Back injury
- Crush injury
- Head injuries
An injury from a derrick accident that does not lead to death can be debilitating and cause the individual to be unable to work or provide for their family indefinitely.