Crane accidents easily rank among the most catastrophic events on construction sites. Their height and weight represent serious potential for accidental falls and collapses, and the possibility of hoisted cargo being dropped from high above the ground adds to the element of risk.
In July 2016 hundreds of New Yorkers witnessed first-hand how dangerous cranes can be when a crane positioned on the deck of a new, under-construction Tappan Zee bridge collapsed. The crane, which was reportedly driving pilings into the ground with a vibrating hammer when the accident took place, fell heavily and injured four people. Hundreds of motorists were trapped in the traffic jam that followed.
Crane accidents arenâ€™t common, but when they happen, the resulting injuries are devastating. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has confirmed that the most common cause of crane incidents is the boom connecting with live power lines, causing workers to suffer electrocution injuries. Other frequent causes of crane accidents include:
- Loads dropped from heights
- Collapsing booms
- Overloading the crane
- Operator inexperience
- Poor equipment maintenance
- Crushing by the counterweight
- Lifting device failure
- Moving parts that strike pedestrians and vehicles
When huge and heavy equipment like cranes are being used on a New York construction site, those in charge of the project have a duty to take all reasonable means to keep workers and passers-by safe. If federal and state safety regulations are not followed, then cranes can cause permanent and even fatal injuries to everyone in their vicinity.
Examples of crane accident injuries include:
- Electrocution burns
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Severe muscular bruising
If you or someone you love has been injured in a crane accident, then contact a New York personal injury attorney immediately. They will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the incident to determine which safety protocols were overlooked, the security of the loads that were being handled, the condition of the equipment, and the possibility that OSHA regulations were ignored. If you are an injured construction worker, then your attorney will help you pursue a workerâ€™s compensation claim and get you the benefits you need to cover medical bills and lost wages. If you are a passer-by who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, then an experienced personal injury attorney will fight to ensure that you are compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning ability, long-term care, pain and suffering, and other damages (both economic and noneconomic) all past and future.
Given the extent of the injuries they can cause, cranes should be operated and maintained with the utmost attention to safety. When contractors and project managers are negligent in this regard, they can be ordered to pay you the compensation you need to recover from your injuries and rebuild. Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, NY accident and personal injury attorney with over 33 years of experience. He has helped recover millions of dollars for his past clients and offers free in-person consultations. Call 718-514-6619 to set up a free meeting. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com to learn more about accident law in New York.