In this blog, we often discuss the numerous dangers that New York City construction workers face. From suffering falls or being struck by a falling object to mechanical and equipment malfunctions and failures, the construction industry is consistently ranked by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as being among the most dangerous of all industries.
Last Friday morning, residents throughout New York City were reminded of the just how dangerous construction work can be when a 565-foot crane collapsed in lower Manhattan. One man was killed in the accident and three other individuals suffered injuries. An investigation into why and how the accident occurred is currently being conducted, but Mayor Bill de Blasio has already announced several "new policies governing the use of construction booms," in the city.
Among the new policies are rules dictating that crane operators cease operating equipment in cases where wind speeds are forecast to reach 20 MPH or higher or wind gusts, 30 MPH or higher. While a massive crane like the one involved in last Friday's accident would likely stand out in many U.S. cities, city officials report that the crawler was one of more than 300 similar cranes currently operating in New York City.
After this most-recent collapse, New York City Comptroller, Scott Stringer, noted that, during the last two-and-a-half years, there have been "at least four significant crane collapses" in the city. He also accused officials at the Department of Buildings of failing to implement several proposed safety recommendations aimed to improve safety at construction sites.
As this most-recent crane accident proves, when it comes to safety, both construction workers and members of the public are at risk when construction companies cut corners. Construction workers who have suffered injuries are advised to seek legal advice from an attorney who handles workers' compensation claims. Depending on the circumstances, a worker may be able to also recover additional compensation related to a third party's negligent actions.
Source: New York Times, "Crane Collapse in Lower Manhattan Kills One Person," Rick Rojas and Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Feb. 5, 2016
Reuters, "New York steps up efforts on crane safety after deadly collapse," Frank McGurity, Feb. 7, 2016