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New York City Passes Stricter Crane Operator Licensing Laws

The first days of April proved to be fatal for another crane operator in New York City. This particular incident killed one man and injured four others. To combat the increase in crane operator accidents over the recent months, Mayor Bloomberg announced new, stricter licensing and testing regulations that will hopefully make the job of crane operator safer. The announcement came a mere three weeks after the most recent death attributed to a New York City crane accident.

New Crane Regulations for NYC

Starting this month, the new requirements state that all new applicants will be required to pass a newer, tougher and more modernized national certification exam. By 2014, all New York City crane operators must pass the nationally accredited exam, and then will be required to update their license every five years. It is the hope of everyone involved that these stricter regulations will increase on the job safety for crane operators.

The new safety regulations come a little too late for several New York City crane operators and other construction site workers who have been killed while on the job recently. Ten construction workers in New York City have died in crane accidents since 2008, five of which happened in 2011 alone.

Recovery Possible for Injured Workers

Constructions workers, including crane operators, who have been injured in an accident should know that have legal remedies available to obtain compensation for help with medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and possibly more. First, workers’ compensation is usually available for those injured. This “no-fault” insurance system is designed to protect workers injured on the job while they recuperate.

In addition, a third party claim may be an option depending on the circumstances. Workers’ compensation generally bars a claim against a direct employer, but the involvement of another party – such as a subcontractor on a worksite or the property owner – could make them liable for injuries.

Finally, if workers such as those recently involved in crane accidents are killed in an unfortunate accident, the family of the deceased may be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits. The family may also be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against a third party depending on the facts of a particular case.

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