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Construction accidents involving cranes are a growing problem

Crane accidents are a notorious cause of injury and death in the construction industry nationwide, including in New York City. The problem has been recognized by federal regulators, and later this year it is expected that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will issue new crane safety rules. One area that has received consensus is the need for increased operator training to reduce the number of crane-related construction accidents.

New York City has been the site of some high-profile crane accidents in recent years. The public attention to the problem is one reason why the city has engaged in an overhaul of its crane regulations. Crane accidents have struck not only the construction worker, but in some instances, pedestrians and motorists have been injured or killed.

Another sign of increasing attention to the problem has been OSHA's stepped-up policy of issuing more and higher fines for safety regulations in this area of construction industry activities.  Recently, three contractors in the state of Washington were fined about $229,200 for crane safety violations that had been involved in causing several severe injuries to workers. The problems with cranes can range from buckets falling to the ground, interference with electrical wires and a range of dangerous mechanical mishaps in between.

When a worker or a private citizen is injured in a crane accident, the progress of federal safety regulations will not be a prime source of comfort or recompense. In most cases of crane-related construction accidents, injured individuals may have a claim for personal injury damages that can be asserted against several potential defendants. If the victim died from a crane-related accident, his or her estate may bring a civil action for wrongful death damages. In New York City, consulting with an attorney who has litigated such claims will give the injured person or the estate a decided edge due to that attorney's prior knowledge and experience.

Source:, "Contractors fined $229K for safety violations in Seattle crane accident", Kim Slowey, April 12, 2017