Westchester Crane Collapse Hospitalizes Two Workers

Monday, March 20th, 2023

Around 12:30 p.m. on Friday, the construction site of a planned Amazon warehouse in Hawthorne, New York turned unexpectedly tragic after a crane collapsed, injuring two construction workers. News 12 Westchester reported that both people were hospitalized; one required a partial leg amputation, and one suffered a head injury. They were conscious at the scene and transported to Westchester Medical Center, where they remain in intensive care. We wish them a strong recovery, as an amputation is an appalling misfortune, and head injuries can be extremely serious.

Footage from ABC showed the crane, approximately 140 feet in length, crumpled across a large area with broken pieces scattered around it. A witness stated that the crane had shown some unstable movement prior to the collapse, but officials denied that weather was a factor, as wind speeds were supposedly low that day. Workers were reportedly setting a steel piece when it fell along with the entire structure.

Located off of Saw Mill River Road, the site had been undergoing construction for about a year. All work was suspended following the incident, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) arrived on Friday afternoon to begin a complete investigation. One of the injured workers is a union member with NYC Ironworkers Local 40.

The Hazards of Crane Collapses on Job Sites

Cranes pose a consistent threat to construction workers. Drawing from seven years of data, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the majority of crane-related deaths involved falling objects or equipment. With these alarming statistics, it is reasonable for OSHA’s latest Compliance Directive for Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard to specify that all job sites should prevent the “unintended dangerous movement of the equipment and potential collapse of parts.”

Several common safety errors might have contributed to the fateful collapse in Hawthorne on Friday. First, the crane may have been overloaded, exceeding its weight capacity. Another possibility is that all parts of the crane were not thoroughly inspected for safety as instructed by OSHA. This responsibility for oversight extends to the ground itself, as soil conditions play a critical role in the setup of a securely rigged crane. Finally, all procedures and inspections may not have been conducted by professionals with the right qualifications.

Due to the range of factors that must be taken into account, crane accidents can be a complicated matter to litigate. It takes a skilled construction injury attorney to determine fault between many potentially liable parties. However, such cases remain an urgent priority, as the risks of struck-by accidents cannot be overstated. The violent force of heavy equipment can cause an array of physical and mental issues for workers, some of which are sadly irreversible.

Legal Results for Crane Injuries

Workers injured in construction accidents, including crane accidents, may be able to receive compensation for their damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Block O’Toole & Murphy has a successful track record of advocating for the victims of workplace negligence.

Some notable results involving crane accidents and struck-by accidents include:

For a detailed list of verdicts and settlements we have obtained for construction workers, visit our Construction Accident Case Results page.

To speak with a construction accident lawyer today, call us at 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form. We serve New York and New Jersey.


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