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Cranes are regulated but crane operators are not

Construction cranes in Texas should be carefully scrutinized for safety and maintenance. However, the people who operate the cranes are not overseen or accredited in any way at this time, and prospective bills that might address this issue have reportedly been forestalled until at least 2017.

Construction cranes are used to lift heavy loads to high areas and drop them off with Precision. The cranes themselves are strictly regulated, with rules and regulations governing everything from where they can be placed to how often they must be inspected. However, no such regulations cover the drivers or operators of these cranes. There is no federal law requiring crane operators to have a license or any type of accreditation. In fact, nearly anyone who wants to operate a crane may do so legally.

Perhaps relatedly, operator error is a significant cause of crane accidents. Property is damaged, people are hurt and lives are lost every year when cranes are used improperly. An operator-training program is offered by an industry group, and they issue a certificate of accreditation. However, participation in the program is voluntary at this time, and there are no forthcoming plans from the United States legislature to change the situation.

It is possible for the employee of one company to suffer a workplace injury that was caused by the employee of another company. If that were to occur, the injured worker could file a civil suit against the offending individual and their employer without affecting the automatic workers' compensation offered by employer. An attorney may be able to help an injured employee understand the intricacies of the law and how they apply to their specific case.

Source: Reporter Newspaper, "Construction cranes: Who keeps them safe?," John Ruch, March 4, 2016

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