Brooklyn Construction Site Accident Involves Crane Collapse

The arm of a crane broke away the afternoon of Feb. 11 at a luxury high-rise building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. According to a WABC news report, the incident was reported at 1 Bell Slip, a 31-story building near Commercial and Clay streets. The arm of the crane could be seen dangling off the side of the building and the collapsed portion of the crane was described as nearly 175 feet in length.

No Injuries Reported

Officials with the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) said their preliminary investigations showed at the time of the incident, technicians were on site performing maintenance work on the tower crane when the crane’s boom experienced a partial collapse.

No injuries were reported and the rest of the crane was said to be structurally sound. No part of the crane fell to the ground and the tower construction project was not damaged, officials said. The DOB is also continuing its investigation and working with engineers and the crane company to assess damage to the crane and determine what steps should be taken to make the site safe. It is indeed fortunate that no workers or passersby were injured in this crane accident.

Common Causes of Crane Accidents

Crane accidents in New York City have led to numerous worker deaths as well as serious or even fatal injuries to pedestrians and passerby. There are a number of reasons why crane accidents occur, including:

Crane collapses: Cranes have weights limits to ensure that they do not tip over. Cranes also use counterweights and out-rigging systems to counterbalance the weight. If these weight limits are exceeded, the crane can tip over or the boom could collapse.

Improper crane assembly: A major reason booms collapse is lack of proper crane assembly. In addition, if the crane does not have the proper wood or metal blocking supports to stabilize the load carried by the crane, the load could move and lead to a crane collapse.

Lack of training: Laws also require that a crane operator/worker be properly trained in how to use them and complete courses offered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on the operation of cranes. Employers also need to make sure that workers at a job site are warned of the dangers of cranes and require them to maintain a safe distance between the crane being operated and other activity within the job site.

Mechanical failures: Cranes must be inspected and maintained regularly. This is key for preventing injury accidents brought about by mechanical failures. Crane components should be repaired or replaced promptly when necessary. Inspections are also critical to prevent crane accidents. Inspectors examining the cranes should make sure they are safe before clearing them for use.

Contact with electrical lines: Electrocution caused by overhead power lines is a common cause of crane accidents. Crane operators as well as workers in the basket must be constantly made aware of where live wires are located. It is also imperative that power to electrical lines is shut off before work begins near live wires.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

Construction workers who have been injured in crane accidents may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, which covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. In addition, workers may also be able to file a third-party claim against a negligent (careless) party other than the employer or co-employees for significant monetary damages and have two sources of compensation available for their losses. Examples of third parties include, but are not limited to, general contractors, construction companies, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents etc.

If you have suffered injuries in a construction-related accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.

Our law firm recovered $3,375,576 for a construction worker (an undocumented immigrant) who was injured on the job – one of the highest construction case settlements in New York that year. Our law firm also recovered $3,000,000 for a man who fell and suffered two broken legs when he walked into an open elevator shaft. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and/or medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

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