How To Reduce Crane Accidents

Crane Accidents can be prevented by adhering to OSHA and CICB guidelines.Crane operations can be deadly. Crane accidents have a high fatality rate. if not inspected and used properly. This realit is a devastating one for Michael and Colleen Simermeyer. In April, the Simermeyer’s son Michael Jr, died when a 110 foot crane owned by Yonkers Contracting collapsed. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Yonkers for allowing construction workers inside the crane fall zone, not ensuring a rig was adequately trained, and failing to properly inspect the wire ropes used to hoist materials. Kay Gee, OSHA’s Manhattan director stated Michael Simermeyer’s death could have been prevented if proper procedures were followed.

Crane Accidents Can Be Prevented If Guidelines Are Followed

OSHA connects the main causes of all crane accidents to the following preventative elements:

  • contact with power lines
  • overturns
  • falls
  • mechanical failure

The Crane Inspection and Certification Bureau (CICB) asserts crane accidents occur due to negligence on behalf of the worker or lack of training and experience. The CICB reports that 9 out of 10 crane accidents are a result of human error, and most of those are because the operator pushed the equipment beyond its rated capacity.  This causes almost 100 fatalities in a typical year.

Five Crucial Precautions against Crane Accidents

Construction experts share five crucial precautions workers need to follow in order to reduce crane accidents.

• Evaluate the construction site for potential crane accidents. Workers should ensure the site is appropriately prepared and safety hazards have been addressed.

• Implement a crane safety plan for each lift-Pinpoint individuals who will be responsible for following the safety plan. Employers need to make certain the crane has accurate capacity for the tasks and the equipment should be maintained and inspected.

• Delegate a capable individual to oversee crane operations with the authority to stop unsafe actions-The Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines a capable individual as someone who had had training and experience in regards to applicable standards. The individual must also be familiar with work site hazards and able to halt unsafe actions.

• Utilize skilled operators, signal persons, and riggers- The crane operator must be extremely comfortable and competent at operating the crane, and the signal person should also understand how to properly operate site equipment.

• Train workers in safe crane operations- All workers should be introduced to an adequate amount of training and education. This includes site preparations and even weather conditions.

Construction workers can receive training officially recognized by OSHA through the CICB.  The CICB offers training in conjunction with the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCO).  NCCO offers preparatory training programs in crane specialty areas such as mobile crane operator, signalperson, rig level I, and overhead crane operator. Individuals interested in training can access CICB’s website at