Articles Posted in Construction Accidents

The crane operator has many responsibilities. They must be fully familiarized with the crane manufacturer’s O&M manual and load charts for the cranes they are dispatched to operate. When they have consulted the O&M manual procedures for the crane’s specific re-configuration, they should conduct a job site safety meeting with the personnel under their supervision. The operator should inform the personnel on the manufacturer’s procedures for reconfiguration, such as proper pin placement and sequence. Operators should make sure they swing cranes in controlled manner, and to never suspend the crane over personnel, unless the personnel are required to land the load. Operators must not permit anyone to ride the hook or load. If there are any technical difficulties with the crane manufacturer’s procedures on any crane re-configuration, operators must contact their shop managers for help. If the lift is critical or sensitive, pre-planning meetings are required. Before leaving the crane, the operator has the responsibility to land the load, place all control leavers in neutral, secure the crane against travel, set all brakes and locking devices, and shut off the engine. Whenever there is a concern for safety, the operator has the authority to stop and refuse to handle loads, until a qualified person determines that everything meets OSHA safety standards. 

OSHA Regulations for Crane Operations

Operators can meet OSHA’s certification requirements through three ways. First, operators can obtain certification through an accredited third party crane certification organization. Second, employers can develop an employer-audited program to certify operators. Finally, operators can obtain a state or local crane operator license.

A recent Boston Globe article detailing injuries sustained by a Quincy, Massachusetts worker who had fallen after he was electrocuted and slipped should serve as a reminder to workers, job site inspectors, supervisors, and all, that workplace safety cannot be overlooked. 

Unfortunately, accidents of this sort are not uncommon, in Massachusetts and nationwide.   In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), electrocution injuries were involved in 10% of construction site fatalities, and in a higher percentage of general accidents that occur at the workplace.

Many victims and their families have unfortunately experienced the devastating effects of an electrical accident injury or fatality.  In nearly every neighborhood in Massachusetts and throughout the United States, there exists high voltage electricity.  If a victim comes in contact with this electricity, death or severe electrical burns causing disfigurement and permanent disability can occur.

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