How common are serious crane accidents?
Cranes are complex pieces of equipment, and crane accidents can easily cause serious and fatal injuries. Even smaller truck cranes, pick and carry cranes and carry decks can cause amputations, serious head injuries and internal crush injuries.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) produce detailed reports into the causes of major crane accidents, such as the Canada Square crane collapse in London. The HSE also publish specific guidance regarding what employers and site managers must do to ensure cranes are safe to use.
Owing to their size and how they are used, telescopic, crawlers, tower cranes and other large cranes can cause widespread injuries in the event of a serious accident. In serious cases, and particularly where multiple fatalities were caused by the collapse, the HSE may recommend criminal proceedings.
If you are injured in a crane accident because the guidelines and regulations were not followed, or because of the negligence of another party, you may have grounds to make a claim.
What to do if you have been hurt in a crane accident
Make a doctor’s appointment
There are several reasons to see your GP after even a minor work injury. Your doctor will:
- Recommend treatment
- Advise on the likely recovery time
- Make a detailed record of the type and seriousness of your injuries
Your GP will also advise on whether the accident could make any existing health conditions worse.
Some of your injuries may have healed by the time you make a compensation claim. Without doctor’s notes, this can make it more difficult to prove how serious the injuries originally were.
Having a detailed medical record of all your injuries can be very helpful evidence in the event you do decide to claim compensation for a crane accident.
Find out more: Key things you need to do when getting medical help for a work injury
Keep a record of your accident and injuries
A record of your accident will help you to:
- Claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and benefits
- Make an injury compensation claim
Even if you don’t plan to claim anything right now, it is a very good idea to make a record while you still clearly remember exactly what happened.
Along with medical records and the accident book report, writing down what happened in your own words can be very useful evidence if you decide to claim compensation.
Find out more: Gathering evidence after a work injury - checklist
Reporting a crane accident
Your employer must report certain injuries and work-related illnesses to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Your employer should also record staff injury and illness in the company accident book.
Whatever the circumstances of your work injury, either you or a colleague should inform your manager as soon as possible. The sooner an incident is reported, the more detailed and useful the information recorded in the accident book is likely to be.
Accident book records are confidential, and you can request a copy of your report if you wish.
Can I claim injury compensation for a crane accident?
You can make a crane accident injury claim if your accident happened for reasons like:
- You were told to use or work on a crane without training or proper supervision
- Another worker or contractor dropped something from the crane
- You were not given suitable PPE, like a safety helmet or steel-capped boots
- You were struck by something the crane was carrying, or by the crane mechanism
- You were hurt because the crane was damaged or had been badly-maintained
What can I claim after a crane accident?
After an accident at work, you may be able to claim for SSP and other benefits if your injuries mean you are not able to work.
You may not be able to claim certain benefits if you are already receiving Jobseeker's Allowance or Universal Credit payments.
You may also be able to make a work accident compensation claim. If you are unable to cover the living costs of you and your dependents after the accident, you may be able to get interim payments ahead of your compensation award.
How will my employment status affect my right to claim?
If you are employed and have a valid claim, making a claim against your employer is relatively straightforward. Many workers on or near cranes, especially on a construction site, are contractors or casual workers. If you are self-employed, working through an agency placement, or on a zero-hours contract, a claim may still be possible but the process will be different.
Read more about claiming if you are:
How much can I claim?
The compensation you can claim following an accident at work will depend on what injuries or illness you have suffered, and how serious those injuries are.
The final amount will also factor in:
- What impact the injury or illness has had on your life and ability to work
- Any financial losses or expenses that were caused by your injuries
The Work Accident Advice Centre online calculator sets out what you can claim for, and how much compensation you could claim for a crane accident.
Making a No Win, No Fee crane claim
A No Win, No Fee claim is made with the help of a solicitor.
When you start a No Win, No Fee claim, your solicitor will explain how the claims process works, and what they will be paid if they win your claim. Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, a solicitor will receive a success fee of up to 25% of a claimant's compensation.
If your No Win, No Fee claim is not successful, you will have no legal fees to pay.
Our work injury advisors will:
- Offer free, impartial advice
- Explain how No Win, No Fee works
- Recommend the right solicitor