While there are no state or federal safety standards as it relates to operating a crane, most operators on major construction projects in Tennessee and around the country receive formal training. Commonly, larger employers will ask that a crane operator has been certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators. However, it is possible that smaller operators do not have the same level of training, which could result in unsafe actions.
Proper training is crucial because just one mistake can lead to property damage and loss of life. One accident that took place in Cincinnati several years ago resulted in the death of a 5-year-old child as well as damaged cars after an overloaded crane arm collapsed. In many cases, crane accidents are the result of human error and not a defect with the crane itself. To help ensure that the cranes themselves are not defective, they undergo both daily and annual inspections.
Daily inspections are usually performed by the operators themselves while monthly or annual inspections are conducted by inspectors affiliated with an employer. OSHA requires that cranes are inspected at least once a year or more often depending on how much a crane is used each year. The inspections are extremely thorough with every inch of the machine getting checked for damage or other issues that need to be resolved quickly.
Workplace accidents involving heavy equipment like cranes are far too common on construction sites, and workers who are injured often face months of recovery during which they are unable to return to their jobs. Many such workers are eligible for workers' compensation benefits, and an attorney can often assist with the preparation and filing of the required claim.