A 2008 fact sheet released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics purports that 42 percent of crane-related injuries are due to a worker being struck by an object falling from the crane. 20 percent of injuries are from workers falling from the crane. Other crane-related injuries include a worker being caught in the swing radius of the machinery and the machinery coming in contact with power lines. For these and other reasons, it is important for crane operators to observe safety regulations which include—but are not limited to—the following:
Maintain an awareness of the crane’s controls and the maximum weight that the crane can lift. Do not push the machinery past its abilities.
Check for structural damage and damage to ropes, hooks and chains. Keep the machinery in top condition.
Close off areas within the crane’s swing zone. Never move a load above areas where there are workers.
Keep all workers aware of the crane and its activities.
With such wide use of forklifts in construction sites, warehouses, and other workplaces, observance of proper forklift procedure is essential to keeping workers safe. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) says the most common accidents involving forklifts include the forklift turning over and crushing a part of someone’s body (particularly the foot). The following are some tips to ensuring forklifts and forklift operators are performing at the peak of safety:
Allow only trained and certified workers who are over 18 years of age to operate a forklift.
Inspect the forklift often for deficiencies and attachments/additions to the structure which could cause changes in the capacity and operation of the machinery.
Do not raise or lower fork while forklift is in motion.
Make sure paths are clear, and sound the horn when approaching intersecting lanes.
Move slowly and patiently; most forklift accidents are caused when a forklift overturns or falls from a platform.
For more information on construction worker accidents and injuries, please see our articles on proper ladder safety and proper scaffolding safety, both of which can be found on the Carpey Law website.