Recently, the NYC Department of Buildings released a report stating that a deadly crane collapse in February 2016 was caused by human error. The massive 565-foot crane crashed into the street, killing one man, injuring three pedestrians, and crushing several cars. The carnage extended over two city blocks. Emergency responders stated they were shocked that the accident didn’t cause more deaths or injuries.
The Department of Buildings report states that the crane’s operator failed to secure the crane the night before during high winds, then lowered the boom at an incorrect angle — both of which caused the crane to become unstable. As a result, the operator’s license was suspended.
Tragedy Brought New Regulations
After the accident, the Department of Buildings announced tougher regulations for crane operations, including mandatory prohibition of any crane operation when winds are greater than 30 miles per hour.
Additionally, the new regulations require a licensed engineer to be present for any operation of a crawler crane rated for less than 30 mph winds.
The regulations also raise the fine for crane safety violations from $4,800 to $10,000.
The new regulations have been challenged in a lawsuit filed by several construction groups. The groups say the mandatory shut-down provision requiring cranes to stop operating once winds reach 30 miles per hour is not based on any scientific research. The lawsuit also challenges the requirement of a lift director being present on any site where a crane is being operated.
Construction Worker Deaths in Crane Accident
Sadly, there have been other deadly crane accidents in New York City, including a catastrophic accident that took the lives of two construction workers in November 2016. The workers were killed with a beam they were lifting when a crane caught on part of a building, causing the cable holding the beam to snap and crash into the crane.
New York City construction accident lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter explains, “As one of the biggest cities in the world, New York City is always under construction. There are construction crews in many spots around the city, and they use heavy, dangerous equipment. The margin of error for this equipment is incredibly small — just one mistake can cost a person their life. Safety regulations are put in place to make sure pedestrians and others are protected from avoidable accidents.”
New York City construction accident lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter. T: 866-324-9211.
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