Leave it to city authorities in one of the country’s major metropolitan centers to lessen the security and safety controls over cranes just as the measures should probably be tightened. Hopefully, controls against crane accidents in Colorado will not go down that same road. The city council in that eastern city decided to allow contractors to replace a crane “master rigger” with an individual that has only 32 hours of course instructions.
Some persons believe that the difference would be like allowing a cabin boy to take over a massive ocean liner whenever the owners deemed it to be a good practical move. Lowering the level of controls at dangerous construction jobs is not anyone’s suggested answer to the death rates steadily accruing among construction workers nationally. Furthermore, the issue is not compensation: any worker sustaining a workplace injury will receive legally required workers’ compensation benefits.
This issue is instead safety. As long as construction workers are dying on the job by the hundreds annually the system needs reform. The action of the New York City Council is all the more perplexing because the city suffered several fatalities in two scary crane accidents in 2008. That warning led to increased regulations, which make the current changes perplexing. One Master Rigger interviewed by a network news team stated that the moves are designed to increase the profit margin for contractors.
The prospect of legislators and construction companies cooperating to sacrifice workers’ safety for increased profits is unacceptable to workers. It’s suggested that workers’ interests should be of primary importance, and safety should never be a sacrificial lamb. There are plenty of other areas where money can be saved and safety preserved at the same time.
Crane accidents and other events leading to construction injuries are a constant concern of all players involved in construction in Colorado. Some of the most horrifying accidents and workers’ injuries occur in the construction trades. All of the players involved are trying to cooperate to increase safety percentages, which the workers have a basic right to expect. They don’t generally engage in construction work with the expectation that getting injured or killed is just a matter of bad luck.
Source: abclocal.go.com, New regulation raising crane safety questions, Jim Hoffer, Dec. 23, 2013