Just last summer, a 21-year-old worker was killed in a devastating crane accident in Macon, Georgia, after the arm of the crane snapped and pinned him against a trailer on the job site. More recently, workers at an Atlanta sewage plant were put at risk of injury or death when a crane collapsed in the middle of their work day. If you have suffered injuries in a Georgia crane accident, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal construction site accident, consult our knowledgeable attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim, in order to pursue the medical, disability or death benefits you are entitled to.
New Crane Operator Safety Rules
In an effort to reduce the risk of deadly crane accidents on U.S. job sites, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued updated requirements for crane operators in 2010, and the new safety rules were set to go into effect by the end of this year. However, apparently succumbing to pressure from the construction industry, OSHA recently decided to add an additional three years to the amount of time construction employers have to adhere to the new requirements, moving the date back to November 2017. In the meantime, the rate of crane accidents in Georgia and across the country will likely continue to rise.
Reducing the Risk of Deadly Crane Accidents
Under the current regulations, employers are required to ensure that crane operators are competent enough to operate the equipment safely, and to provide training for those who don’t have the necessary knowledge or ability to operate a crane. Under the new rules, crane operators would be required to obtain certification to legally operate the equipment, much like drivers are required to carry a license in order to operate a motor vehicle. Even though these new rules could help prevent unnecessary workplace injuries and fatalities from crane accidents, the construction industry has argued that meeting the new requirements within the set time frame would put an “undue burden” on construction site employers and their workers.
Contact Our Crane Accident Lawyers for Help
Construction job-site accidents occur far too frequently in Georgia and throughout the United States, resulting in 806 worker fatalities in 2012 alone. According to a 2008 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were an average of 78 crane-related fatalities on construction sites every year between 2003 and 2006. Thirty resulted from workers being struck by falling objects, nine were due to the crane itself striking a worker, and the rest occurred when an object being transported by the crane fell onto a worker. If you have been injured in a serious crane accident in Atlanta, Marietta, or elsewhere in Georgia, contact our workers’ compensation lawyers today for qualified legal help.