Safety Research

Report on Safety Hazards in the Crane Industry

The NCCCO Foundation and the National Safety Council (NSC) through its Work to Zero initiative partnered to survey certified crane operators and inspectors regarding safety hazards in the crane industry. The goal was to identify the most common hazardous situations these workers are exposed to, the main causes and contributors to workplace injuries, and to understand their use and perceptions of safety technology solutions used to eliminate or mitigate these risks.

The NCCCO Foundation intends to share the report’s findings throughout the year and focus its safety education outreach on the top hazards identified in the report. Educational materials, webinars, and other resources designed to increase awareness and improve safety in the crane industry will be available soon.

The report includes findings regarding the top hazardous situations, most common risks, most common causes of injuries, perceptions of safety training and compliance, and use of safety technology in the crane industry.

Key findings are provided on this page, however additional information is included in the full research report that can be downloaded here.

We welcome people to share information from this report, but we respectfully ask that credit be given to the NCCCO Foundation.

Key Findings

  1. Survey participants reported work at height, vehicle-pedestrian interactions, and loading and unloading materials as the hazardous situations they were most likely to be exposed to when on the job. Between 55% and 89% of participants said they were likely or very likely to be exposed to these hazardous situations. In 2020, NSC found these three hazardous situations resulted in 30% of non-roadway occupational fatalities.
  2. The two most common situational risks directly causing injuries were falls from height and being struck by a falling object, both of which are part of OSHA’s Focus Four Hazards.
  3. The two most common systemic risks contributing to injuries were heat stress and fatigue. These risks were also considered to be some of the most likely exposures reported by participants.
  4. Over 80% of survey participants believe they have access to appropriate safety training before starting a task, but lack of proper training still accounted for seven percent of personal injuries and eight percent of site injuries.
  5. Overall, the use of safety technology is fairly low. Depending on the specific type, only one to 13% of participants reported currently using technology at the job sites where they are working. The most commonly used technologies were proximity sensors, wearables for vital signs monitoring and drones.
  6. Despite low use rates, survey participants’ responses indicated a general willingness to try new safety technology solutions. Common responses regarding potential benefits described improved safety, reduced blind spots, and the ability to alert both workers and others of job site hazards. One of the most frequently reported barriers to using safety technology was concern over data privacy.