Crane accidents can cause significant injuries, costly damages, and considerable disruptions to construction sites. Moreover, if you’re a construction worker, safety should be your top priority. Still, accidents happen. When they do, you need the right information to make informed decisions.

Read on to find out about the most common types of crane accidents. If, however, you would prefer to speak with someone directly, please call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or schedule your free consultation online.

What Are The Main Types of Cranes?

Before we dive into the accidents, it’s helpful to know your cranes. There are two (2) general categories: mobile and fixed.

Mobile Cranes

For jobs that require localized travel, mobile cranes are your answer. These are the globetrotters of the crane family, designed for maximum maneuverability.

  • Crawler Crane: Imagine a crane that has its feet firmly planted on the ground, regardless of how heavy its load is. Thanks to a tracked undercarriage, the Crawler Crane excels in weight distribution, stability, and mobility. Ideal for projects that require frequent repositioning.
  • Hydraulic Crane: The Hydraulic Crane is known for its exceptional versatility. This type employs a hydraulic system to handle everything from construction and industrial tasks to material handling gigs.
  • All-Terrain Crane: Roads? Rugged terrains? This all-terrain crane is your multi-talented workhorse that offers stability, mobility, and an impressive lift capacity, whether you’re downtown or up a mountain.

Fixed Cranes

If you’ve got a project that’s sticking to one spot, fixed cranes are your go-to. These cranes are like the anchors of the construction world, providing unparalleled stability and lifting prowess right where you need it.

  • Tower Crane: Think of this as your skyscraper buddy. Tower cranes have a fantastic lifting capacity and can reach nosebleed heights. These are the cranes you see constructing tall buildings and handling heavy loads way up in the sky.
  • Jib Crane: Limited space? No worries. With its rotating horizontal arm, the Jib Crane can move loads in tight spots with ease. Often used in warehouses and workshops, this versatile crane is graceful yet powerful.
  • Overhead Crane: Hung from an overhead beam, this crane is often found in industrial settings, handling everything from raw materials to finished goods. It’s all about effective lifting and transporting, making the most of available space.

This bird’s-eye view of the crane landscape details how diverse it is. Whether you’re going mobile or staying put, there’s a crane designed to fit your project’s every need.

What Are The Most Common Types of Crane Accidents?

Understanding the types of cranes is crucial, but knowing the common accidents they’re involved in is equally essential for any construction professional. These incidents often range from overloading and tip-overs to mechanical failures and much more. Let’s unpack them, shall we?


The quickest way to turn a construction site into a danger zone is by overloading your crane. When the crane’s weight limits are not respected, the risk of catastrophic failure skyrockets. You want to make sure that you’re strictly adhering to the crane’s load chart, which outlines the weight limitations and safe operation guidelines.

Call the experienced New York construction accident attorneys of Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation today. It will be our honor and privilege to fight – and win – for you!


Nothing gives construction workers the jitters quite like a tipping crane. The root cause of this often boils down to ground conditions. Before operating a crane, always make sure the surface is stable and level. Remember, cranes and shaky ground go together like oil and water — actually, they don’t go together at all.

Boom Collapses

A collapsing boom usually happens when the boom is subjected to forces beyond what it was designed for. It’s important not to overextend the boom or place excess pressure on the crane’s individual components.

Electrical Accidents

Operating a crane near power lines is a major risk. The slightest accidental contact can result in electrical shocks or even more dire consequences. Safety first — de-energize power lines near the worksite and use independent insulated barriers to prevent any shocks.

Mechanical Failures

Mechanical failures often occur due to poor maintenance. Keep up with routine crane maintenance checks and inspections to identify any malfunctioning or broken components.

If you were injured in a crane accident due to mechanical failure, call the leading New York construction accident attorneys of Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or visit us online today!

What Are Some Statistics Around Crane Accidents?

Data doesn’t lie, and when it comes to crane accidents, the numbers are a wake-up call for the industry. The more we understand these numbers, the better we can prevent future mishaps.

Fatality Stats

From 2011 to 2017, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) reported a total of (297) deaths involving cranes. Breaking it down, that puts the annual average of crane-related fatalities at a staggering (42) deaths.

Causes Of Fatalities

Sometimes, the most direct route to understanding a problem is going straight to the cause. So, what’s the main cause behind these fatalities? Just over 50% involved a worker being struck by an object or a piece of equipment. That’s right — more than half. A fact that highlights the urgency for better safety protocols.

Industries At Risk

A significant 43% of all fatal work injuries involving cranes occur in the private construction industry. Close behind is the manufacturing sector, accounting for 24% of fatal work injuries. From these numbers, it’s clear that certain industries are more prone to these kinds of accidents, necessitating targeted safety measures.

Geographic Breakdown

Now, let’s cast our eyes over the states where the danger is, unfortunately, even more pronounced. According to the data:

  • Texas: The Lone Star state leads with (50) fatalities.
  • Florida: Not just sunshine and oranges, Florida has recorded (16) deaths.
  • New York: Matching Florida, the Empire State also has (16) fatalities.
  • California: Coming in close with (14) deaths.
  • Illinois: Also reporting (14) fatalities.

Note: These states may need to take an even closer look at their crane safety protocols.

To that end, have you or a loved one suffered an injury caused by a crane? If so, don’t wait until it’s too late! Instead, contact us online or call the New York construction accident legal team of Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 now!

And while these numbers are tragic, they also serve a purpose — to educate, alert, and hopefully prevent similar tragedies in the future. Awareness is the first step towards improvement. Remember, safety isn’t just about following rules; it’s about creating a culture where accidents are less likely to occur.

What Are Some Basic Safety Guidelines For Crane Operators?

In an industry where the margin for error is minuscule, following safety guidelines is not just good practice — it’s a necessity. Let’s cut to the chase and delve into the top safety tips that could very well save lives.

Complete Crane Training

The best offense is a good defense. Before anyone even considers stepping into the operator’s seat, comprehensive crane training is a must. Proper training imparts the know-how and self-assurance required for safe operation.

Pick The Right Tool For The Job

Different cranes serve different purposes. As such, choosing the appropriate crane for the task at hand is absolutely critical. Moreover, as this is not a one-size-fits-all situation, matching the right crane to the right project works to protect everyone on the job site.

Stick To OSHA Guidelines

Safety protocols aren’t just bureaucratic red tape; they’re lifesavers. OSHA regulations are your go-to in this realm, designed to protect both the operator and fellow workers throughout the project duration.

Know The Owner’s Manual

That owner’s manual contains a treasure trove of essential information on preparation, operation, and maintenance. Knowing it inside and out will not only help to ensure safe operations but could also save you a few bucks in the long run by extending your crane’s lifespan.

Regular Maintenance Is Non-Negotiable

Think of maintenance as a regular health checkup for your crane. Scheduled maintenance identifies minor issues before they escalate into full-blown problems, ensuring that the crane operates without a hitch.

Clear The Deck

Imagine trying to navigate through a maze. Now put that maze several feet in the air and throw in some live electrical wires. That’s why removing obstructions like power lines is critical before you fire up that engine.

Don’t Push The Load Limit

Overloading is a high-risk game of chance. Always refer to the owner’s manual for the maximum load capacity to ensure you’re not rolling the dice with safety.

Steady As She Goes

Mobile cranes are like tightrope walkers — they need a stable base to function properly. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to a T to ensure your crane isn’t at risk of tipping over.

Communication Is Key

Consider this the international language of safety. Pre-defined hand signals offer a crystal-clear way for operators and ground personnel to communicate, thereby minimizing the risk of misunderstandings that can lead to accidents and work-related injuries.

Your Next Step? Seek Experienced Help

Accidents happen, but they’re far more likely to happen if you don’t take the right precautions. That said, if you or a loved one finds yourself in a construction-related accident in New York State, it would be our honor and privilege to fight for you.

But please note: As you have a limited time to collect all the money and benefits you’re entitled to, you shouldn’t wait. Not when your financial future is on the line.

Instead, act now and call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation today. No matter your situation, you can count on us to get you prepared and provide the representation you need to recover – physically, legally, and financially.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!


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