Common causes of hoist accidents include exceeding the weight limit, poor assembly, component failure, poor training, and inadequate inspection.
Employers are responsible for providing their employees with a safe working environment. However, not all employers are keen on this and thus put employees at a high risk of injury and death. Take the example of the construction industry—thousands of construction workers are injured yearly, and the number only seems to increase. One common cause of injury on a construction site is hoist accidents. Why are these accidents so common? And how exactly do they happen?
Exceeding the Weight Limit
The most common cause of hoist accidents is exceeding the weight limit. Hoists are designed with a maximum load capacity in mind. Any attempt to lift beyond this capacity can result in the hoist collapsing or the load falling, causing severe injury or even death.
Poor assembly is another major cause of hoist accidents. If any part of the hoist has been assembled incorrectly or compromised due to wear and tear, it could fail when under pressure—leading to potential injury or worse. And it’s not just the major parts, little things like mismatched bolts or screw holes being stripped can cause a huge safety hazard.
It’s almost inevitable that some parts of the hoist will wear down over time. They need to be reexamined regularly to ensure nothing has gone awry. Issues such as weakened or faulty connections, broken links, frayed cables, and other material issues can lead to uncontrollable movement if not identified promptly. Unfortunately, this can result in the load falling or the hoist collapsing, causing serious injury or death.
Poor training is yet another leading cause of hoist accidents. Without proper instruction on how to operate a hoist safely and efficiently, individuals may unknowingly partake in dangerous behavior that puts their lives and the lives of others in peril. Further complicating matters is that most hoists being used are outdated, increasing the potential for an accident.
Inadequate inspection practices can also contribute towards hoist accidents occurring on-site—particularly if inspections are carried out too infrequently or insufficiently detailed reports are made afterward, failing to detail any necessary repairs or replacements required for safe operation in the future.
What Can You Do?
As mentioned earlier, your employer is responsible for ensuring that all equipment, including hoists, is in good working condition and that all employees receive proper training and safety instruction. If you have been injured in a hoist accident at work, you have a right to file a workers’ comp claim. At The Law Office of James. M. Hoffman, we have experienced St. Louis workers’ compensation attorneys who can help you navigate the workers’ comp process and ensure you receive the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Contact us 24/7 to speak with a Missouri workers’ comp attorney with over 30 years of experience.
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