New York Crane Accident Lawyer
Over the years, New York’s famed skyline has taken its toll on construction workers and others. In order to build these buildings workers are heavily reliant on construction cranes and other rigging to hoist men and material to the upper floors. During the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1870, 30 workers lost their lives, including the architect, John Roebling. As recently as March 2008 four construction workers were killed and 17 others injured when a construction crane fell at a Manhattan building site.
Construction cranes are inherently dangerous. As such, New York State’s Labor law, particularly Sections 240(1) and 241(6) were enacted in an effort to make the workplace safe for construction workers and those lawfully on the premises. Since their enactment these sections of the Labor Law have come under attack by property owners, insurance companies and business groups. Over the last eight years the courts have become stricter in their interpretations of these sections to limit or eliminate benefits for worker’s who were injured or killed as a result of construction accidents including crane accidents.
Section 240 (1) requires that contractors and land owners of buildings larger than one and two family dwellings, shall furnish or erect scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes and other devices to give proper protection to a construction worker.
Section 241 (6) requires that work done at a construction, excavation or demolition site be so constructed shored, equipped, guarded, arranged, operate and conducted to provide reasonable and adequate protection and safety to persons lawfully frequenting the premises.
NY City Tower Crane Accident Lawsuit Attorney
However, the injured worker must prove that the contractor or land owner violated a specific section of New York’s Industrial Code, an arcane regulation which may or may not coincide with the modern and more familiar rules of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Federal government.
The New York State Industrial Code Subpart 23-8 covers mobile cranes, tower cranes and derricks. Section 23-8.1 lists general provisions; 23-8.2 contain special provisions for mobile cranes; 23-8.3 contains special provisions for tower cranes; 23-8.4 contains special provisions for derricks and 23-8.5 contains special provisions for crane operators. These provisions have been in effect, without modification since June 1, 1972.
In general the code provides for the stability and strength of cranes and derricks, for monthly inspections, footings, hoisting mechanism brakes and locking devices, load handling, hoisting loads, limitations on modifications of cranes and derricks, banning use of cast iron on cranes or derricks, guarding of moving parts and from the elements, ropes and reeving accessories, lubrication, use near power lines, use in concrete work, erection and construction of cranes, capacity of cranes, operation of cranes and derricks, certification of crane operators.
OSHA regulations are found in Section 1926.550. OSHA frequently checks works sites and issues violations. However, an OSHA violation does not give an injured worker the right to sue the owner or general contractor under the Labor Law. Only a violation of the New York State Industrial Code gives that authority.
Tower Crane & Mobile Crane Accident Statistics
During a three year period from 1997-1999 it was reported by OSHA that there were 158 crane accident resulting in 13 deaths and 79 injuries. 76% of those accidents involved mobile or tower cranes. 49 of those accident were the result of instability and 24 were the result of lack of communication.
Injuries and deaths as a result of crane accidents in specific and construction accidents in general, whether being struck by a bulldozer or other excavating equipment, falling from a height, being struck by an object falling from a height, tripping over debris at the site, requires consultation with attorneys skilled in dealing with these cases. These cases are not routine and should not be handled in a routine manner. Contact the New York crane accident attorneys at Tolmage, Peskin, Harris, Falick or call us toll FREE at 866-502-9091 for your FREE case evaluation.