In February 2016, a crane collapsed and tragically killed a man and injured three others in Lower Manhattan. The crane operator was found to be responsible for failing to secure the crane the night before and lowering the boom at an improper angle causing the crane to be unstable. Gusty winds the following morning caused the crane to collapse.
Cranes can be found throughout New York City, and crane accidents are not uncommon. The city implemented safety measures, hired more inspectors, and expanded training requirements, but crane accidents persist. Crane accidents can have devastating consequences for construction workers and innocent passersby.
Common Causes of Crane Accidents
There can be a variety of reasons for a crane accident. Some common causes include:
- Crane operators that are not adequately trained
- Improper crane installation
- Failure to comply with the manufacturer’s specifications for crane use
- Mechanical failure
- Loads that are too heavy
- Loads not properly secured
- Crane contact with energized power lines
- Crane contact with buildings
- Operating a crane in heavy winds
- Improper pulley/hoisting/cabling operations
- Crane hook-lifting device failure
Who is Liable in a Crane Accident?
Cranes are typically operated by crane companies that are not in charge of the work site as a whole. Therefore, they are most likely to be liable for any injuries caused by a crane accident. Contractors and owners may also be held liable. In addition, crane maintenance companies can be held responsible in some circumstances. If the crane has some type of defect, the crane or crane components manufacturer may also be held liable.
Preventing Crane Accidents
There are steps that a crane operator, contractor, or owner can take to ensure crane safety including:
- Make sure that all operators have the proper training before working the crane
- Conduct comprehensive inspections on a regular basis
- Only allow qualified professionals make repairs to the crane
- Place the crane on stable ground away from electrical wires
- Make sure the crane is not carrying a load that’s more than 75% its tipping capacity
- Install barriers around the construction site to prevent onlookers from coming on the property
- Consider wind as the most critical safety concern.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a crane accident, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.]]>