Crane safety regulations designed to reduce workplace injuries

Maryland workers enjoy the benefits of having a proactive state agency that actively seeks to reduce workplace injuries. The perpetual push to keep workers safe throughout the state is directed under the auspices of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. As part of its mission to reduce workplace accidents, the DLLR occasionally commissions task forces to look into safety issues that may pose unnecessary hazards or require specialized industry knowledge.

The Maryland Crane Safety Task Force is an example of DLLR's commitment to increasing workplace safety. The task force was organized with the mission of developing regulations designed at preventing accidents related to the operation of cranes used in construction, demolition, and maintenance. Although there are some exceptions to the scope of the task force's mandate, it is generally understood to also govern most crane operations. This includes those activities associated with erecting and dismantling tower cranes.

The following is a sampling of some of the regulations put forth by the Crane Safety Task Force:

-- Employers are prohibited from requiring employees from operating a crane unless they have received proper training and have successfully passed a written examination designed at identifying whether they have sufficient knowledge and skills.

-- Crane operators are required to demonstrate they possess adequate skills and knowledge of crane safety every five years.

-- Crane operators are required to submit to alcohol- and drug- free workplace policies and must have satisfactorily completed a physical examination before being allowed to operate a crane.

-- Regarding tower cranes, the task force requires that a master-lead rigger be available on-site whenever one of these cranes is being dismantled, jumped or reconfigured.

-- An employer is obligated to notify the Commissioner of Labor and Industry at least 48 hours in advance of whenever a "special lift" is scheduled to occur.

Sadly, despite every attempt to increase safety workplace injuries are an inevitable component to any job. Slip and falls, back injuries even the occasional sprained ankle are all possible each time any of us sets foot in the workplace.

If you are a Maryland worker who has suffered an injury related to your job, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. In some cases, you may be able to receive help with your medical expenses, lost wages and rehabilitation designed to get you back to work.

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