On February 9, a crane at The Banks project in Cincinnati tipped over while carrying steel over a street structure when it suddenly became imbalanced. No injuries were reported, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) did follow up with an investigation. Just three days before this incident, a crane fell over in New York City, injuring three people and killing one pedestrian. And in the same month, a Louisville crane collapsed due to high winds and fell into the Ohio River.
There are roughly 200 cranes in the Cincinnati area at any given time. That said, these incidents have brought much attention to who operates large cranes at these construction sites and how to make them safer.
Cincinnati is Taking the Right Steps to Protect Construction Workers
Cincinnati City Council is expected to move forward with some reforms that would crack down on several aspects of the construction industry. The proposal has the support from the country’s largest construction contractor in the construction crane business, Maxim Crane Works.
In particular, the proposal would raise the standards for cranes that are deteriorating with age at worksites in and around the city. This would require construction companies to better maintenance cranes or phase out cranes that are older than 20 years old. Additionally, the proposal would put new requirements in place for workers to operate cranes, regardless if workers are involved in a union or not. Though you may assume all crane workers go through a rigorous certification course in order to be able to operate cranes, this is not the case. In fact, Cincinnati would be joining a rather short list of cities that implement certification requirements.
Other Ohioan Cities Should Apply New Improvements to Crane Safety Standards
Though there are many hazards associated with construction cranes at worksites, most crane accidents involve malfunctioning crane equipment, cranes that are poorly maintained and operator error. This new proposal addresses all three of those very common crane safety hazards. The proposal is expected to begin in July, once approved. Hopefully, the rest of Ohio follows Cincinnati’s lead and creates safer work environments for construction workers.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC is a workers’ compensation law firm that fights for construction workers or other victims of workplace accidents in Ohio.