Cranes are one of the most essential tools in New York construction sites. They are also some of the most dangerous machines to operate. Construction workers on site and passing pedestrians can be at serious risk of injury from fallen materials or the crane itself. Here are a few key aspects about the work environment to check.
The operator’s condition
The operator is the key person to ensure that the crane functions smoothly. Needless to say, the worker must be in prime condition to control the vehicle. The worker should not operate the crane if they lack sleep, experience or are drunk.
Recently, a drunk man drove a crane on the Long Island Expressway and hit four cars before he was pulled over by the police. One of the cars he hit was obliterated. If this driver were operating the crane at a construction site in this state, there’s no telling what he could do to the workers or the project.
Every crane must face proper inspection before operation daily. If the crane’s functions do not meet the requirements set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), then it should not be in use. Possible warning signs include maladjustment or deterioration on critical parts such as the hooks, hydraulic system or operating mechanisms. Even if it delays the project, safety must always take top priority.
One of the most common mistakes crane operators make is overestimating how much the crane can lift. When the crane is carrying more than it can handle, it can drop some of the materials into the streets below or collapse and fall on its side. Before construction begins, workers should always check the crane’s load chart to determine the maximum amount of material the crane can lift.
New York experiences every season of the year in full force. The winters are freezing and the summers are hot. With so many hazardous conditions that the state experiences annually, construction companies have requirements regarding how they should adjust their equipment and if they can operate under certain weather.
Back in February 2016, a crane accident that killed one pedestrian and injured three others made national headlines. After two years of investigation, the state recently found the operator guilty of failing to secure the crane over night when there was a forecast of high winds. As a result, the operator lost his license and has over $50,000 in fines.
Most crane accidents that occur are entirely preventable. Operating a crane with an impaired operator, malfunctioning machine or hazardous weather can put dozens of workers at risk. Construction sites must follow proper procedures to ensure a safe environment for all of their workers.
Any time an injury does occur, employees should file a workers’ compensation claim to make sure they receive the proper time and treatment to heal their injuries. Workers’ compensation covers both medical expenses and income, meaning you will be able to recover without worrying about paying the bills.