Sickeningly, this story is becoming all too familiar. Yet another fatal crane accident took place in New York City on Tuesday, November 22, 2016, highlighting once again the tremendous dangers that construction workers face on a daily basis.
At 12:11pm, on a jobsite located at 82nd Avenue and 134th Street in Queens, a crane operator and his flag man were killed when the crane’s wire snapped, sending the beam that they were moving crashing down onto them. Emergency responders pronounced the two workers dead at the scene. Tragically, reports indicate that the workers were in the process of placing their last beam of the day. It is believed that heavy winds played a role in the accident.
We hope and expect that the authorities will fully investigate all causes of this incident, and that all responsible parties are identified held to account for what has occurred.
While perhaps underappreciated by much of the general public, construction workers and their families are well aware of the risks they routinely face on the job. One distraught worker on this Queens construction site was reported by the New York Post as saying “we just lost two of our own. We put our lives on the line every day to feed our family. This is what we do.”
There is no question that construction safety is major issue in New York. In particular, the use of construction cranes in windy conditions has led to other well publicized recent incidents. In fact, in February, Mayor Bill DeBlasio implemented a new policy regarding measures to boost crane safety in windy conditions, requiring cranes to stop operating and go into “safety mode” whenever steady winds are forecasted to exceed 20 mph or gusts to exceed 30 mph. It is unclear at this time whether this new regulation was followed.
Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go out to all of the family, friends and co-workers who are mourning the tragic loss of these workers. Given our long history of representing victims of construction accidents, the risks of construction work are certainly not lost on the experienced trial attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy.
We have recovered nearly $1 Billion in verdicts and settlements for accident victims and their families, in large part by holding construction site owners and general contractors accountable when their safety failings cause injury or death.