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Workers' compensation: Considerations to ensure crane safety

Construction sites pose an endless list of safety hazards, most of which are covered in the safety regulations prescribed by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Some of the many workers' compensation claims filed by construction workers involve injuries suffered in circumstances that involved cranes. Even though these machines come in different sizes, they all pose injury threats, and compliance with safety standards requires consideration of three environmental factors.

Ground condition analysis is crucial to accommodate the weight and size of most cranes. The construction company owner or contractor is typically responsible for ensuring that the ground is firm, graded and drained sufficiently to support blocking, mats and the crane. Furthermore, it is crucial for the operator to be fully informed about all the hazards that are present underground like utilities. Although it is not unusual for crane operators to work in all weather conditions, the importance of how the weather can affect the ground stability must not be overlooked. Extreme weather can cause a crane to overturn.

The third matter to consider is the proximity of overhead, high-voltage power lines and underground utility lines. Cal/OSHA prescribes strict procedures to follow in obtaining specific information from utility operators and owners. Voltage information on overhead cables and locations of underground lines is vital, and regulations determine the safe spaces that must be maintained. If power lines or utilities will be compromised, arrangements must be made to deactivate them when necessary.

Victims of crane-related workplace accidents in California might have to deal with mounting medical bills and lost work time, maybe even disabilities. The victim can seek the support and guidance of an attorney who is experienced in fighting for the rights of injured workers to improve his or her chances of obtaining maximum workers' compensation benefits. The worker might be eligible for benefits to cover medical expenses, lost wages and vocational rehabilitation when applicable.

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