Top Causes of Aerial Lift Accidents in New York
Aerial lifts are used frequently by workers in New York, whether on construction sites, by municipal workers, maintenance crews, and others. These machines come in many different types and sizes. While they are quite useful for projects requiring workers to operate at elevated heights, these large, heavy machines can also cause severe or fatal injuries in the event of an accident.
Some of the most common types of aerial lifts in New York include:
- Cherry pickers
- Scissor lifts
- Articulating boom lifts
- Telescopic boom lifts
Accidents can be caused by the recklessness of third parties (like distracted drivers who crash into lifts on busy streets), or could be caused by operator error. To prevent operator error accidents, employers and supervisors should train operators to:
- Inspect the conditions around the job site
- Identify hazards and avoid them
- Inspect the equipment before use
- Safely operate the equipment
Even if a worker operates the equipment safely and to the best of their ability, accidents can still happen.
Commonly Reported Aerial Lift Accidents
Some of the most commonly-reported types of aerial lift accidents include:
- Vehicle accidents – Just last month, a worker who was fixing a traffic light died in an accident caused by a driver who crashed into the cherry picker he was working from. When drivers fail to observe aerial lifts in the roadway or fail to exercise caution when driving around them, workers could be hurt or killed in an accident.
- Electrocution – Accidental contact with overhead power lines can result in serious or fatal injuries. If the lift is not on stable ground, the employees are not wearing the right protective gear, or if the lift tips over and comes in contact with power lines, the accident could be devastating.
- Falls from lifts – Falls often occur when the vehicle is on unstable ground, when inclement weather strikes, or if a vehicle or object strikes the lift. Workers can prevent some falls by making sure that all cables and harnesses are secure and access gates are closed.
- Tip-overs – High winds, unstable ground, exceeding load capacity limits, and other issues can cause the lift to tip over.
- Caught-betweens – When a lift worker is caught between the lift and another object, the injuries they suffer could be severe or catastrophic. Workers nearby can also be crushed or caught between when a lift tips over, so it is crucial for workers both in and around the lift to exercise caution and be alert at all times.
- Struck by objects outside the bucket – Workers can be hurt by objects, debris, or equipment that falls out of the bucket onto unsuspecting workers below, or debris that falls onto the worker in the bucket.
Thorough safety training can help workers identify these common hazards and hopefully avoid them. While safety training goes a long way toward preventing injury accidents, it unfortunately cannot prevent them from ever happening. When a worker is injured on the job, they have the right to seek worker’s compensation benefits, or might have a third-party injury claim for compensation.
Contact a New York Aerial Lift Accident Lawyer
The New York aerial lift accident lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP have extensive experience helping workers in our community get compensation if they were hurt in an accident on the job. We’ve helped workers who’ve been hurt on aerial lifts, scaffolding, and other elevated heights get justice when an unexpected accident occurs. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call us at (212) 779-0057, chat with us live, or fill out a contact form today and schedule your free consultation with us.