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Construction Accidents

Crane Malfunction Kills Construction Safety Director in New

July 9, 2015 | Dominique A. Penson

A crane at a construction site in Midtown Manhattan reportedly killed its safety director after it malfunctioned. The safety director was identified as a 40-year-old man who was inspecting the hydraulics of the equipment when the crane’s boom pinned him against his truck. Firefighters rushed to the construction site on East 44th St. and used jacks to lift the heavy steel beam off the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The so-called mini cranes (or knuckle booms) involved in this accident are not regulated or inspected by the city in the same manner as larger cranes. And while this incident is considered a freak accident, cranes are a common cause of workplace injuries and are actually responsible for a number of fatalities each year — up to 175 injuries and 22 deaths annually. Although moving heavy loads is an essential part of construction and manufacturing activities, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has developed specific standards to ensure the safety of workers who operate in the vicinity of cranes or derricks.

Regulations continue to evolve

Recently, OSHA issued final rules addressing safety issues, such as cranes and derricks hitting power lines, workers getting struck or trapped by equipment and crane tip-overs. The regulatory changes were also sparked by advancements in technology and improved techniques for lifting procedures that need to be scrutinized for potential safety hazards. The rules require employers to ensure the safety of ground conditions and also new requirements for pre-erection inspection of cranes and the assembly and disassembly of equipment. The standards also clarify fall protection requirements.

After a workplace accident, you may need to file for workers’ compensation benefits or seek compensation from negligent parties. For more information and guidance, meet with an experienced New York City construction site accident lawyer at [ln::firm_name]. 

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