Atlanta Forklift & Crane Accident Lawyer
Forklifts and cranes are two of the most important, and most dangerous, pieces of equipment in construction and industry. Forklifts can be found moving loads of heavy materials on every construction job site and are essential in warehouses and factory floors. Cranes are necessary for any operation – construction, demolition, renovation – that require moving heavy materials above a certain height.
Worker safety is paramount around these machines, and it’s up to employers, property owners and developers to consider forklift and crane safety as part of providing a safe workplace. Yet tens of thousands of workers are injured in forklift accidents every year, and crane accidents account for more than 20% of fatalities in the construction sector. Forklifts and cranes are both implicated in the top four construction hazards dubbed the “fatal four” by OSHA for their inherent danger – falls, struck-by, caught-in/between and electrocutions.
At Shiver Hamilton Campbell, our mission is to represent victims of personal injury and wrongful death in Atlanta and recover significant compensation for accident victims or their loved ones left behind. Learn more below about forklift and crane accidents, and call Shiver Hamilton Campbell if you or a loved one has been hurt on a construction site or dangerous workplace in metro Atlanta.
Atlanta Forklift Accident Attorneys
Forklifts, also known as lift trucks or powered industrial trucks, are used to lift and move large and heavy materials on construction sites, warehouses, and a wide variety of workplaces. Forklift operators have a lot to deal with: driving the vehicle, loading and unloading cargo, and watching out for road hazards and other workers in a busy and often changing environment. Forklift operators are legally required to receive training and certification before operating a forklift on the job, and it’s the employer’s responsibility to see that anyone who gets behind the wheel is properly certified and trained.
Some of the leading causes of forklift accidents in Atlanta include:
- Workers fall from the forklift while standing on elevated tines or on top of elevated pallets in an unsafe manner or without proper fall protection such as harnesses and body belts
- Drivers with limited visibility due to their loads drive into a pit or trench, and the lift truck tips over on top of them
- Nearby workers are struck or crushed by forklifts that are not equipped with backup alarms adequate for the noise level of the environment
- Forklift tips over due to overloading or unsafe modifications made to the truck
- Operators fall due to lack of seat belt restraints
- Workers are injured by unsecured or improperly positioned batteries on electric-powered lifts
Atlanta Crane Accident Lawyers
Over the last decade, cranes have become increasingly stronger, faster, and taller, and their dangers have increased accordingly. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has voluminous standards regarding operator certification for cranes and derricks, helicopter cranes, personnel and material hoists, elevators and conveyors associated with crane operations.
Crane operations require a great deal of planning and preparation to set up and implement; they are monumental jobs in and of themselves. Those in charge of crane operations must take care to set up the crane properly and make sure crane workers are properly trained and supervised and that all other workers are trained in how to work safely in the vicinity of cranes. Some of the main reasons crane collapses and other accidents occur include:
- Too much congestion going on around the crane operations
- Pinch points are left unguarded
- Clearances are insufficient to complete the lift
- The crane isn’t set up on a solid foundation
- Outriggers are not extended properly
- Operators fail to heed power lines and other overhead hazards
- Incompetence on the part of the crane operator
- Negligence on the part of the superintendent or site supervisor
- The crane used for the job is inadequate or ill-suited for the task at hand
- Lack of adequate planning and coordination before operating
Liability for Atlanta Forklift and Crane Accidents
Independent contractors who are injured on a jobsite might not be eligible for workers’ compensation but must instead file a civil negligence lawsuit against the responsible party to receive compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. Even employees covered by workers’ comp can have a negligence claim when a third party is responsible for causing the accident, which is often the case in forklift and crane operations. Injured workers should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to find out what their options are and protect their rights to file a lawsuit if necessary.
If you or a member of your family has been injured in a forklift or crane accident in metro Atlanta, call Shiver Hamilton Campbell for a free consultation at 404-593-0020 to learn about your rights and options. We take on cases involving the most serious catastrophic injury or wrongful death, and we fight to secure significant compensation for our clients who were hurt because of another’s negligence or wrongful conduct.