Why crane accidents happen and how to prevent them

Cranes are an essential part of construction sites. They are used to lift heavy materials and equipment, and they make it possible to build taller structures. However, cranes can also be dangerous. If not operated properly, they can collapse and cause serious injury or death.


According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are four main reasons why crane accidents happen:


  • Operator error
  • Mechanical failure
  • Weather conditions
  • Improper site conditions


Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.

Operator Error

One of the most common causes of crane accidents is operator error. This can include things like poor decision-making, fatigue, distractions, and even drug or alcohol use. Crane operators need to be alert and focused at all times in order to avoid accidents.

Mechanical Failure

Cranes are complicated machines, and they require regular maintenance in order to function properly. If a crane is not properly maintained, it is more likely to experience a mechanical failure. This can include things like broken cables or faulty brakes.

Weather Conditions

Windy conditions can be particularly dangerous for cranes. High winds can cause cranes to collapse or swing uncontrollably, which can lead to serious accidents. That’s why it’s important for crane operators to pay close attention to the weather forecast before operating a crane.

Improper Site Conditions

The construction site itself can also be a factor in crane accidents. Things like uneven ground, soft soil, or overhead power lines can all contribute to an accident. It’s important for construction crews to conduct a thorough site assessment before using a crane on the job.

Preventing Crane Accidents

Here are some tips for preventing crane accidents.

1.  Understand the Risks

Crane accidents can be extremely dangerous, so it is important to understand the risks before operating a crane. Some of the most common causes of crane accidents include operator error, mechanical failure, and bad weather.

2.  Follow Safety Procedures

There are a number of safety procedures that should be followed when operating a crane. These procedures includes proper inspection of the crane before use, maintaining a safe distance from power lines, and using appropriate signals when moving the crane.

3.  Use the Right Equipment

It is also important to use the right equipment when operating a crane. This includes using the correct type of crane for the job, as well as ensuring that all safety devices are in place and functioning properly.

4.  Be Aware of Your Surroundings

When operating a crane, it is important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. This includes being aware of other workers in the area, as well as any obstacles that could potentially get in the way of the crane.

5.  Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks

Operating a crane can be dangerous, so it is important not to take any unnecessary risks. This includes avoiding shortcuts and taking the time to properly set up the crane before use.

6.  Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions

When operating a crane, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. This includes reading the manual before use and following all safety warnings and precautions.

7.  Get Training

It is also important to get training from a qualified instructor before operating a crane. This training will teach you how to safely operate the crane and will give you the opportunity to practice in a controlled environment.

What to Do if you’re in a Crane Accident

If you are involved in a crane accident, it is important to contact a lawyer right away such as Hill & Moin, who is a New York crane accident lawyer. A crane accident lawyer can help you file a claim and get the compensation you deserve.


Cranes are an essential part of construction sites, but they can also be dangerous if they are not operated properly. The four main causes of crane accidents are operator error, mechanical failure, weather conditions, and improper site conditions. By understanding these causes and taking steps to avoid them, we can help prevent future accidents from happening.

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