Take steps to prevent dangerous NY crane accidents

Earlier this year, a large crane being used to construct a building in Queens collapsed. Seven construction workers sustained personal injuries in the accident. Authorities later revealed that the accident occurred because the crane operator was attempting to lift a load that was too large for the crane to handle.

Both the crane operator and the contractor received citations as a result of the Queens crane accident. Buildings Department officials reported that the contractor was responsible for failing to properly perform inspections on the crane before allowing it to be used. In addition, the contractor allowed the crane to be used in an unsafe manner prior to the collapse, according to officials.

This was just the latest in a number of high profile crane collapses in New York in recent years. In 2008, two crane collapses during a span of two months resulted in nine fatalities. These accidents have led some to realize that additional safeguards are required to ensure the safety of construction workers while on the job.

If you or a loved one was injured in a crane accident, find out about your legal rights.  Call the New York City lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy for a FREE, no-obligation consultation.

OSHA crane safety tips for construction firms and workers

In 2006, 72 construction workers were killed in crane-related incidents - 30 of which were the result of a worker being hit by a falling object. This represented a slight decline from crane-related fatalities each year from 2003 to 2005 - in each of those years, 78 workers were killed in such accidents.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has taken steps to further reduce the number of people killed in crane accidents every year. OSHA provides a list of safety tips for contractors and crane operators to ensure the equipment is always used in a safe manner.

Cranes should be properly inspected after they are assembled and before they are used, to ensure safety. In addition, the individual who operates the crane must have received the appropriate training.

OSHA also recommends that workers always ensure they are lifting a load within the crane's safety parameters. Crane operators should never lift a load over the heads of other construction workers, and workers should always ensure that there is a minimum of a 10-foot wide radius between the crane and any electrical wires.

In the wake of the two New York crane accidents in 2008, the Buildings Department announced it would also be making efforts to increase oversight of crane use on construction sites. According to the Department, workers and crane inspectors were required to attend additional training sessions.

Despite these efforts, crane accidents have continued to occur in New York. If you or a loved one has been injured in a New York crane accident, consulting with a skilled personal injury attorney will ensure your rights are protected.