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Dangers posed by construction cranes

When a crane collapses at a Louisiana construction site, the results can be deadly and catastrophic. Some cranes may tip over while tower cranes may collapse and fall if their arms are overloaded.

Despite the dangers of crane collapses, no license or certification is required for crane operators. At most major construction sites, however, large companies still require their crane operators to take certification courses through the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators before allowing them to operate cranes on work sites. While major tower crane collapses do occasionally occur, such as the one in 2008 in New York that killed nine people, experts warn that people are more at risk from smaller cranes operated by small companies.

According to inspectors with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a majority of the violations that they see are with home-delivery truck cranes rather than very large tower cranes. Many accidents happen because of improper load handling, causing the smaller cranes to tip over and possibly crush people on the ground around them. Crane inspections are mandated by OSHA at least annually, but inspectors report that some owners try to influence the inspectors, especially when their equipment has multiple deficiencies.

People who are in a crane accident while they are working may be catastrophically injured. A person who has been in such an accident may be eligible to file for workers' compensation benefits through the employer's carrier. If a worker is killed, the surviving family members may be eligible for benefits. People who are in this situation may want to get help from a workers' compensation lawyer to find out what their rights might be.

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