New York City Crane Collapse: A Tale of Safety Violations By Michael Joseph on August 03, 2023

Our NYC construction accident lawyers know that injuries that occur from crane accidents tend to be severe, if not fatal. Workers may be crushed or maimed and pedestrians can be injured or killed. People who are injured in these accidents usually require lifelong medical care and compensation for lost wages.

New York City witnessed yet another crane incident when flames broke out in the cab of a tower crane while it was hoisting concrete to the 36th story of a luxury high-rise. The crane's arm fell after the cable holding it broke, leading to public concern and safety questions. The tower crane, owned by New York Crane and Equipment Corp., was hoisting concrete to the 36th story of a luxury high-rise when a fire broke out in the machine’s cab, wjhich caused the 180-foot-long boom to fall to the ground.The crane company responsible for the incident, New York Crane and Equipment Corp., faced similar issues previously and has a history of safety violations. This latest incident caused the city to revisit its process of inspecting and regulating tower cranes. The New York City crane Collapse is not an isolated incident. It is part of a systemic problem in the construction industry, where safety is often neglected at the expense of profit.  Reports show that the company has been cited for numerous safety violations, which includes fines for improper rigging of equipment and for failing to inspect and maintain the crane properly. These violations are associated with carelessness on the part of the company operator to prioritize safety over profit. This weighs heavily on our clients who may have been injured by this careless behavior. 

This is not the only catastrophe in the city's involving crane collapses. For example, in a two month span in 2008,two cranes owned by New York Crane and Equipment Corp,. collapsed resulting in the fatalities of nine people died. Two of the city's most disastrous crane collapses occurred in 2008, prompting a revamp of the process of inspecting and regulating tower cranes. However, the recent crane incident involving New York Crane and Equipment Corp. shows that there are still loopholes in the system. It also highlights the need for improved regulations to prevent such incidents.Later in 2008, a construction worker fell to his death while helping dismantle a crane owned by a different company. One of the two crane operators, whose license was suspended for eight months, was Chris Van Duyne,  the same man was operating the crane that caught fire Wednesday. In another incident, the crane opeartor was fined by federal officials for a dangerous condition that could have led to a serious accident, which  involved inadequate communication between the crane operator and other workers on the job site, which is key in ensuring that everyone, including pedestrians, remains safe. This shows the need for authorities to hold crane companies and operators accountable for any negligence or misconduct.

The investigation into the recent incident is still ongoing, and neither the crane company nor its operator has been accused of wrongdoing. However, Council Member Pierina Sanchez highlights the clear evidence of the company's past failures when it comes to safety. It's essential to take into account such past incidents while renewing licenses, hiring operators, and choosing crane companies for future projects.

As a response to the 2008 crane collapses, New York City adopted stringent crane regulations, including new licensing requirements for crane operators, stricter safety inspections, and zoning rules affecting tower cranes. However, the recent crane incident shows that there's still more work to be done in enforcing and updating these regulations. Authorities should also consider increasing the fines and penalties for a company's negligence in keeping workers safe from harm.

Our New York City construction accident lawyers who handle crane accidents, will continue to fight for those injured because of negligent crane operators. 

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The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC, has been helping injured victims recover compensation for their injuries for over a decade. Our attorneys are members of several prestigious organizations, including: 

  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • New York County Bar Association
  • Westchester County Bar Association

To request your free initial consultation with our team, call our New York City office at (212) 858-0503 or our White Plains office at (914) 574-8330. You can also request a case review online.

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