Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler

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Crane collapses crowd list of worst construction accidents

Recent reports indicate that North Carolina's construction industry is on solid footing and that it can expect steady growth this year and in the near future. While that is good news for the state's economy and construction workers, it must also be acknowledged that some of those workers will suffer injuries in an industry plagued by safety issues and accidents.

Because we are now in prime construction season here in Charlotte, buildings and streets are being torn down and replaced or renovated. It's a good time to not only celebrate growth and change, but also to look back and remember construction accidents that took lives and left workers with serious injuries.

We recently read an article that gave readers an overview of the 10 worst construction accidents across the globe. Fortunately, none of them took place in our city or state, but all of them took lives and took health away from workers and passersby alike. A number of these terrible accidents involve the use of powerful cranes critical in many major construction projects.

Many of our readers will recall one of the worst construction accidents in U.S. history that took place just a few years ago in New York City when a 250-ft.-high crane collapsed, killing six workers. Also killed: a person in an apartment next to the construction site; an apartment building that was pulverized when the crane weighing thousands of pounds buckled and toppled.

Nearly two years ago, a pair of cranes collapsed on the Juliana Bridge in the central Dutch town of Alphen aan den Rijn southwest of Amsterdam. Twenty people were injured when the cranes crashed into a row of adjacent buildings, turning a number of the structures into rubble.

Another tragic crane collapse occurred in September of 2015 in Saudi Arabia, when one of the sky-high machines toppled in Mecca, killing 111 people and injuring hundreds more.

Construction workers know that they have to be cautious when using heavy machinery, climbing great heights, working around electricity, digging trenches and all of the other tasks that fill their industry with risks.

Unfortunately, too many injured on the job have their claims for North Carolina workers' compensation rejected. You can speak with an attorney experienced in protecting rights and workers' comp benefits.

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