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What do I need to know about construction crane accidents?

Are you up-to-date on your crane safety procedures? Although overhead cranes are common fixtures on today's construction sites, many workers are still unaware about the special safety protocols that are most effective at preventing injury. All too many construction worker claims deal with injuries related to tower or overhead cranes. That has lead the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to promulgate new rules governing the use of these potentially hazardous tools within the past five years. Your employer can help you avoid a construction site accident by working together with safety experts to improve procedures at your work site.

Who is at risk for crane-related injuries?

Everyone on a construction side can be affected by a crane accident. Victims include riggers who have lost parts of their hands because an operator lifted a load too quickly, workers who have been crushed by material that was improperly secured and crane operators whose equipment was not fully tested. Overhead crane safety is a serious concern that should be thoroughly addressed by New Jersey employers.

What can I do to protect myself?

As an experienced construction worker, you know when something does not "feel right." If you think a safety concern exists, you have the right to bring it up to management and have it rectified. Make sure that the crane is in good working order without any mechanical or electrical failures. Take extra care when performing tasks such as welding around a crane or hoist, and be sure to pay attention to all warning labels associated with the equipment. Never allow any other employee to walk, stand or work beneath an actively moving load.

What happens if I do get injured?

Despite all of our best-laid plans to remain safe, sometimes injuries do occur on the job site. Some employers are less-than-willing to provide appropriate workers' compensation in the event of an accident, though, which is where a good attorney can come in handy. A personal injury attorney can help protect workers from unfair actions by insurance companies and other third parties, improving the likelihood of a positive outcome in their civil litigation case.

Source: The Crane, Hoist and Monorail Alliance, "Overhead Crane Safety Tips Card," accessed Aug. 20, 2015

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