Offshore InjuryBlog

Offshore Injuries Caused by Derricks, Cranes & Other Deck Lifting Equipment

Working offshore has its risks, and one of the most common is presented by the equipment that must be used to lift and transfer cargo and personnel. Derricks, cranes, and other deck lifting equipment can pose serious hazards if it is improperly operated, poorly maintained, or defective in any way. In this blog, we will talk about these maritime accidents and what can be done to prevent them.

Causes of Deck Lifting Equipment Accidents

Derricks, cranes with movable pivoted arms for lifting and moving heavy objects, are particularly useful on maritime vessels. They can also be found on docks, fixed platforms, and oil rigs. Because they are so large and powerful, they can pose a serious risk to any crew members who are operating them, are in their path, or are nearby. This does not excuse accidents, however.

Crane and derrick accidents have specific causes, such as:

  • Exceeding crane or derrick weight limits
  • Improper load balance
  • Lack of training or experience with deck lifting equipment
  • Operating a crane or derrick in rough seas or heavy weather
  • Poorly maintained equipment
  • Failure to inspect lifting equipment before use
  • Derrick or crane defects

These can result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries.

Common Crane & Derrick Injuries

A crane or derrick accident can cause crush injuries, amputation, falls overboard, and even death. These can occur if the object a crane is lifting swings or becomes detached while in transit, striking or crushing a worker underneath. Crew members in personnel baskets can suffer broken bones, head trauma, and other harm if they swing violently or collide with the side of a vessel or even fall into the water. The possibilities are varied and frightening. These make proper crane and derrick operation essential for the safety of every worker on a vessel.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Derrick & Crane Accidents?

Maritime employers and vessel owners must take the appropriate measures to reduce deck lifting equipment accidents and protect their crews.

Derrick, crane, and other deck lifting equipment accidents can be prevented by:

  • Keeping deckhands and all personnel clear of a derrick’s path while it’s being operated.
  • Ensuring derrick and crane operators are properly trained and experienced.
  • Never operating a crane outside its specified weight limits.
  • Providing adequate lighting when deck lifting equipment is operated at night.
  • Thoroughly inspecting cranes and other equipment before use.
  • Avoiding derrick or crane use in adverse weather.
  • Properly maintaining deck lifting equipment and all its parts.
  • Performing repairs and maintenance as needed, plus replacing aging derricks.

Talk to an Offshore Injury Lawyer

An offshore worker who has been injured in a deck lifting equipment accident may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act. A longshoreman or harbor worker may be entitled to compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Families may seek damages under the Death on the High Seas Act if they lost a loved one in this type of incident. With our understanding of maritime law and our experience handling all types of offshore injury cases, our team at Arnold & Itkin is here to help you understand your options and rights.

To learn more, give us a call at (888) 346-5024 or contact us online. Your consultation is free!

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