Knuckleboom loaders are hydraulic swing machines with specially designed booms used in the moving of logs and other large items. In the logging and construction industries, there is no more important piece of machinery as it allows for the loading and unloading of heavy cargo in spaces that are tight or have low clearance with the help of the crane-like attachment. While knuckleboom loaders are an essential piece of equipment in a variety of industries, they do not come without risks.
If you have been injured in a knuckleboom loader accident, contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, Mike Agruss Law is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.
Causes of Knuckleboom Loader Accidents
The most common accidents involving boom loaders are tipping and boom breakage due to human error. It is important that only employees who are trained and qualified to be using the knuckleboom loader be permitted to do so. Other causes of knuckleboom loader accidents include:
- Overloading – Like any other piece of weight-bearing equipment, a knuckleboom loader has limitations on how much weight it can safely carry. Using it beyond this capacity increases the risks of serious accidents.
- Wrong positioning – A knuckleboom loader must be used in proper positioning to remain safe. When the boom is swung too quickly, the weight of the load can increase as it gains momentum. Also, the amount of stress on the boom increases as it is moved more perpendicular to the ground.
- Steep terrain – Knuckleboom loaders are designed to be used only on flat terrain or terrain with a very slight degree of slope. Anything beyond that could cause the loader to tip.
- Electrocution – Knuckleboom operators should be aware of any overhead power lines and not operate the equipment within 100 feet of all power lines. Contacting electricity in a knuckleboom loader is often deadly.
- Improper maintenance – Like any other piece of equipment, knuckleboom loaders require routine maintenance. The hydraulic system should be inspected regularly, an operator protection guard should be in place, and moving parts should be properly lubricated to prevent breakdown, to name a few.
Knuckleboom Loader Safety Tips
To remain safe, knuckleboom loader operators should consider the following safety tips:
- Training – Per requirements by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), all knuckleboom loader operators must be trained by a qualified institution, undergo a written assessment exam, and pass a practical exam by an independent assessor that meets OSHA’s requirements.
- Site inspection – Inspecting the worksite before the operation of the knuckleboom loader prevents accidents. Overhead obstructions, underground structures, and weather conditions should all be considered.
- Proper maintenance – A maintenance schedule should be implemented for all the loader’s components and daily vehicle inspections should be completed prior to operation.
Accidents involving knuckleboom loaders are often serious and deadly. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to negligence on the job site or a defective product, an experienced personal injury lawyer can review your claim and determine if there were unsafe working conditions, potential OSHA violations, and other hazards that may have existed at the time of your accident. They will also determine who may be liable for your injuries and damages and what compensation you may be entitled to.
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