In response to a string of fatal crane accidents in New York City, city officials in Boston and around the country are cracking down on crane safety. Boston residents may remember the crane accident that occurred during the Big Dig in 1999. The injured worker settled for $8 million.
Though Boston building inspectors are already required to complete a 10-hour course about scaffolding and hoist safety, city officials say they hope to be even more cautious about crane safety in the future. Already state regulators in Massachusetts are working on a year-long initiative to make licensing requirements for crane operators even more difficult to improve safety. They are considering a proposal that would mandate a field test every two years so that operators can demonstrate their ability to operate the dangerous machinery.
Though OSHA claims that crane safety is a high priority, Boston’s 7News discovered that there has only been one tower inspection in almost three years, because the organization doesn’t routinely inspect cranes unless there has been an accident or complaint.
City officials in other areas are dealing with similar concerns about crane safety. In Washington, D.C., the district’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) launched emergency inspections of all cranes in the district (about 40 in total). In Florida, a bill that would have set statewide standards for crane operators was defeated in early April. In Houston, Texas, federal officials from OSHA are actually in charge of inspecting cranes and city inspectors check the cement platforms the cranes sit on.
Since crane accidents usually result in serious injuries, time is of the essence. If you or a family member were involved in a crane accident or other workplace injury, then our Boston construction accident lawyers can help. Our team of experienced attorneys will work with you during this difficult time to ensure that you get appropriate medical treatment and workers compensation.
U.S. cities inspect cranes after fatal NYC collapse, OccupationalHazards.com, June 4, 2008
Crane Safety, WHDH.com, June 4, 2008
Boston eyes crane safety, Boston Herald, May 31, 2008