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Lack of inspection and improper use caused recent crane collapse

Feb 11, 2014 | Premises Liability

On behalf of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP

Late last month, we wrote about a crane collapse along the Queens waterfront. No one died in the accident. However, seven construction workers were injured. Weeks later it has been revealed that the equipment was not inspected and that the crane was used improperly.

A crane operator and a contracting company now face more than $60,000 in fines apiece. Violations were also handed out to the developer and a site safety manager.

“Neither the crane operator nor his supervisors made sure the operation was being performed according to approved plans,” a Buildings Department official said.

Officials say that the crane operator was trying to lift 24,000 pounds at the time of the collapse, which is more than twice its capacity. In addition, the operator’s view was obstructed, which prevented him from seeing what he was picking up. The operator’s license has since been suspended.

Concerns over the safety of cranes in the city have risen after numerous deadly crane accidents in recent years. In 2008, fatalities occurred after two separate crane accidents. Just last year, a crane accident left one person dead.

Cranes are a common sight in New York City. They are often necessary in construction projects. While many cranes are used properly, negligent use can cause serious injuries and even death.

People who are injured in a crane collapse may be able to hold negligent parties responsible in civil court. Compensation that is obtained may be used to cover medical expenses and lost wages. After all, innocent victims should not have to face financial burdens as a result of another’s negligence.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Operator, contractor cited in NYC crane collapse,” Jan. 30, 2013