Crane Injuries in El Paso That Lead to Construction Injury Claims

When it comes to cranes at construction sites, the focus should always be on safety. However, accidents still happen that can drastically change a construction worker’s life.

Crane accidents that lead to injuries often occur when an object falls off a crane and strikes a bystander or worker. The National Commission for Certification of Crane Operators, or the NCCCO, projects that crane operators experience injuries around 10% of the time. Construction and dock workers and bystanders are at the most risk of getting injured.

Moreover, further statistics reveal that workers in the construction and industrial sectors are frequently killed when operating or working around mobile cranes. When not operated safely, the crane may tip over, its boom may collapse, or the operator may lose control of a hoisted load.

Mobile crane that works by lifting and moving a heavy electric generator

Types of Crane Injuries in El Paso

When improperly operated, a crane can tip over, collide with people or other items and equipment, come into contact with electrical lines, and topple objects. 

Needless to say, the size of a crane can lead to major injuries, some of which include fractures, head trauma, and injuries that affect the spinal cord and back. Crush injuries, electrocution, and organ damage also are a part of this list.


A crane accident can result in someone being struck by the crane or the object the crane is moving. Multiple fractured bones may occur from either situation. These injuries can indeed be serious, considering the crane’s weight. As a result, the severity of these injuries forces patients to pursue a claim for personal injury. 

Even if you fully recover from a serious fracture, you may experience pain for the rest of your life. You may even need to change your career.

Trauma to the Head

Massive head traumas may result from crane mishaps. If you survive the injury, you usually cannot return to the same line of work.

Traumas to the head take the form of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and damage to the skull. Other complications related to head traumas include infection, seizures, cerebrospinal fluid leaking, and bleeding. After all, when you get hit by a crane, you won’t get a mild concussion or a minor bump on the head. These kinds of injuries can lead to permanent damage.

Statistics on TBIs

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers further proof of the seriousness of TBIs. According to the agency:

  • Close to 60% of victims were moderately to severely disabled.
  • Over 50% could not return to work.
  • About 50% returned to the hospital for an additional time.
  • One-third of accident victims have to depend on another person to help them with their daily activities.
  • Over 10% of TBI victims live in either long-term care facilities or nursing homes.
  • Almost 30% of TBI deaths were related to falling.

Injuries to the Back

Injuries to the back are a fairly common outcome of a crane accident. Injuries may involve a herniated disc, bulged discs, and fractured vertebrae. People may also experience soft tissue damage spanning along the spinal column. 

Back injuries normally require one or more corrective procedures. Victims often must deal with discomfort and pain for the rest of their lives. 

What’s even worse is the fact that many painkillers are highly addictive. As a result, some accident victims also face drug abuse issues. Even if you return to work, you may have to work fewer hours or choose a job with fewer physical demands and requirements.

Injuries to the Spine

Spinal cord injuries usually are catastrophic and lead to a lifetime of pain and/or paralysis. Unfortunately, the cells in the spine cannot regenerate like other body cells. In addition, the spinal cord does not need to be totally severed for permanent damage to occur.

Moreover, a spinal cord injury can disrupt the messages the brain conveys to the body’s nervous system. Therefore, injuries that develop close to the brain cut off more communication. 

This may lead to full-body paralysis in the form of tetraplegia or quadriplegia. Both tetraplegia and quadriplegia are the same things – paralysis below the neck that affects the limbs of the body.

Most people who have these injuries spend the rest of their life in a wheelchair.

Crush Injuries

If something falls from a crane and strikes a person, it can easily crush them. This type of personal injury is usually fatal. The severity of the injury depends on the size of the object, the height from which it fell, and how and where it landed. 

Amputation and Crush Injuries

If a crush injury only affects a victim’s legs or arms, they have an increased rate of survival. However, it can also mean amputation. That’s because the circulation stops or slows in a crushed limb as well as the rest of the body. 

If medical professionals cannot restore the blood, it will trigger an infection that may spread and ultimately lead to death. To save someone then, the doctor amputates the limb.

Patients with amputated limbs must learn to use a prosthetic or struggle with phantom pain – pain that emerges where the limb used to be.

Injuries from Electrocution or Shock

Another common crane injury is electric shock or electrocution. If the operator comes into contact with a power line and the crane tips, he may get shocked or electrocuted. The operator may also strike a power line when they are maneuvering the heavy equipment. 

What Can Happen

This injury may injure a victim in one of several ways.

  • The victim may experience cardiac arrest.
  • The victim’s muscles, nerves, and soft tissues may be destroyed.
  • Thermal burns may develop if there is direct electrical contact.
  • If the person leaps back from the shock or a blowback occurs, they could fall and become severely injured.

When crane accidents happen around high-voltage power lines, they become the most deadly types of mishaps.

Organ Damage

If the crane comes into direct contact with vital organs, fatalities may occur. For example, a falling object or a direct hit to the body can lead to wounds to the stomach, intestines, liver, or kidneys or may cause the lungs to collapse. In some instances, emergency surgery can save the victim’s life.

Avoiding Crane Injuries

Crane operators need to know all the OSHA safety precautions for using a crane. Safety should be made a priority. For example, it is important to follow certain practices.

  • The crane should be operated on a level surface, and the operator should make sure that the surface is designed to support the load.
  • The voltage and location of power lines should be noted before crane work begins.
  • It’s important to know the capacity and limitations of the crane being used.
  • Managers need to make sure everyone is aware of the crane operations on the job site.
  • Nearby sites should be barricaded within the swing radius of the boom.

When using a mobile crane, the operator should know the four lifting principles – or the center of gravity, leverage, stability, and structural integrity. Each lift should have a clearance of at least ten feet between power lines and any part of the equipment or load.

Crane operators and workers should always follow the manufacturer’s advice for setting up a crane and its rigging. Workers should use care not to place themselves in areas where they could get struck by a falling blade or a collapsing crane component.

Call a Construction Injury Lawyer Now to Discuss Your Construction Injury Case

To ensure you receive just compensation for a crane injury, you need to talk to a construction injury lawyer. Contact Cesar Ornelas, about your construction injury claim right away. Call (510) 929-5407 today.


If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, please fill out the form below for your free consultation or call us at: (855) 930-1149

  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image

Related Blog Posts