Unfortunately, crane-related construction site accidents continue to be all too commonplace in the City of New York. Since 2010 alone, there have been multiple examples of accidents occurring in and around New York City involving construction workers and laborers getting seriously injured or killed due to falling cranes, tipping cranes or cranes dropping payloads. These accidents are usually the result of a failure to ensure that the cranes themselves are being properly maintained or due to the operation of cranes not being adequately supervised and the safety of the workers not being properly safeguarded. Jobsite safety involving cranes is of the utmost importance due to the enormous potential for injury or death to construction workers and the general public from crane-related accidents. Rarely do we hear about a crane accident without grave consequences. When the stakes are this high, safety has to be paramount. It has not.
Despite the fact that enforcement of crane safety is as crucial as ever, the number of city crane inspectors has dropped from ten to four in the past few years, a 60% decrease . Four crane inspectors for a city the size of New York with the multitude of construction sites we have is not nearly enough and the few remaining inspectors are scrambling to keep up with the number of required inspections. Due to all of these factors, accidents are inevitably going to keep occurring unless things change. This is perhaps the best example of how profits are being prioritized over worker safety. There is no other rational explanation. The NYC Buildings Department, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, claims that new laws since 2008 are increasing oversight into crane safety. Without the proper personnel conducting the oversight, the laws are a ‘political fiction’ designed to appease the general public without any appreciable impact. The reality is that crane accident tragedies continue to occur because contractors will continue to take short cuts. Shortcuts and massive workloads for ill equipped inspectors translate into untimely inspections, poor oversight and fatal accidents. All of this leads to innocent victims lives being impacted. It has to stop.
Block O’Toole & Murphy fights to protect the rights of those injured, or tragically killed, in construction accidents. We are committed to helping injured construction workers and their families during a very difficult time. Our clients appreciate the care, attention and expertise we bring to their cases. Our attorneys not only have extensive knowledge and experience in this area of law, but are at the forefront of the laws’ changes and developments. In New York State, construction workers are protected by the Labor Law, which sets strict safety standards and enables injured workers to recover from site owners and general contractors who have violated the law. For example, the New York law would enable a worker injured by the crane collapse to pursue a lawsuit against the site owner and general contractor. The law permits injured workers or family members of a killed worker to seek compensation for their significant losses, including medical expenses, wages lost, and extreme pain and suffering. Block O’Toole & Murphy works to maximize our clients’ recovery under the law and to bring comfort, support and relief to their sad stories.