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Over the past few years, too many American workers have been killed or seriously injured in crane accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced a crane safety sweep, in which it plans to increase the number of inspections that it conducts at workplaces across the country.

According to OSHA, over the past five years alone, it has investigated 13 fatal accidents involving cranes. Most of these accidents occurred in the Northwestern part of the United States. Therefore, the safety sweep is likely to focus on the states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. However, the federal agency is asking states across the country to increase their investments in crane safety.

Among the more common crane-related accidents that occur in Atlanta and across Georgia are crane tip overs and head injuries that are caused by workers being struck by the equipment. Electrocution is another common crane-related hazard. Accidents typically occur when a crane is being operated very close to an overhead power line and when workers are not properly trained in how to operate a crane in these situations. Workers can suffer crushing injuries when they are caught between a crane and other equipment, and they can also suffer injuries in falls from cranes.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is asking employers to ensure that only certified and trained personnel are allowed to operate cranes and that all cranes are inspected before use by a competent person. All inspections must also include a complete check of all of the rigs before use. The risk of electrocution can be minimized by making sure that there is a 10-foot clearance between overhead power lines and the crane.

Michael Parsons is an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer representing injured workers in the metro Atlanta region and helping them recover the workers’ compensation benefits that they have earned.