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Crane operator injured when crane tips over

A Georgia company was inspecting a bridge when a crane tipped onto its side, pinning the crane operator down and causing him minor injuries. The man was expected to make a full recovery, but may have suffered a fractured pelvis and was likely to remain in the hospital at least overnight. His employer believes the accident was the result of operator error.

The accident occurred on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Jackson, Mississippi, at around 9:30 a.m. on May 12. Authorities were investigating its cause. An official with the Mississippi Department of Transportation Enforcement Division said, thanks to heavy counterweights and advanced hydraulics, the crane has the ability to maneuver its basket even under the bridge for inspections. He said he expected an in-depth investigation regarding what had happened to make it tip over. The cheif executive officer of the crane company did not believe the machine had failed; he thought the operator had made a mistake.

A witness said that he was amazed that the operator survived the crane accident. He said bridge inspection was a dangerous business because of the problems that can happen with heavy equipment. Traffic was closed in both directions over the bridge as a second crane was brought in to right the first one.

In this type of an accident, the injured worker might be able to make a claim for compensation, either through Georgia's workers' compensation system or in civil court if it is believed that the negligence of a third party was the cause. An attorney will suggest the proper forum for trying to obtain a recovery.

Source: WAPT, "Crane topples over, pins worker", Scott Simmons, May 12, 2014

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