Those who live and work in New York are no strangers to the sight of cranes on construction sites. Cranes of all sizes can be irreplaceable tools for lifting and moving equipment and materials weighing tons that workers may otherwise have no way of getting where they need them, including onto the roofs of tall buildings.
If you or a loved one works construction, you know that, as vital as cranes are, these monster machines can be deadly when they collapse or fall. When the extended jib of a crane begins to tip or the tower starts to sway, workers may quickly lose control, and the situation can turn tragic. Crane collapses are all too common, and in many cases, they are preventable.
Why do cranes fall?
Each year, dozens of cranes across the country fall or their jibs drop from great heights, bringing tons of steel crashing into buildings, vehicles and people below. If you are on or near the crane, you have a high risk of devastating injuries. While investigators often cite weather as a contributing factor, most cranes, if properly secured, can withstand normal weather conditions, including winds. Nevertheless, any of the following factors can turn an essential machine into a deadly weapon:
- Skipping critical safety meetings to review the use of the crane during the project
- Failing to follow manufacturer’s specifications for assembling, disassembling and operating the crane
- Using a crane that is not adequate to the work load it will bear
- Neglecting to have a qualified person inspect the crane before use
- Failing to secure the crane to a stable surface
- Removing pins too early in the disassembly process
- Allowing workers to operate the crane without training or experience
- Moving loads over the heads of workers
A crane on your construction site may mean the involvement of numerous teams. Contractors may rent the equipment from one company, hire a team to assemble and disassemble the crane, contract others to inspect it and employ more workers for its operation. You may not know until it is too late that someone on one of these teams tried to cut time or costs by skipping vital safety measures.
Such actions can lead to a catastrophic accident. If you suffer injuries or a loved one dies in a crane accident, you likely have a complex process ahead of you for seeking the compensation you deserve. A skilled attorney with experience in construction accidents and crane collapse cases can be a valuable ally.