As last week's tragic crane collapse in New York City illustrates, circumstances can sometimes transform cranes from useful construction tools into incredibly dangerous safety hazards. Crane accidents can expose workers and bystanders alike to serious, and possibly fatal, bodily harm. Thus, it is important for governments, construction companies and construction workers to do all that they can to reduce the likelihood of such accidents.

One of the things that can impact crane accident likelihood is what kind of government regulations are in place on cranes, as this can heavily impact the behavior of construction companies and workers. There are a variety of regulations regarding cranes here in New York City. In fact, in recent years, several such regulations have been added to try to improve crane safety.

However, current regulations proved unable to prevent last week's crane catastrophe in lower Manhattan. So too did city inspections, as, just a day before the accident, such inspections were conducted on the crane and the work being done at the site (the inspections resulted in approvals). Thus, the accident gives rise to questions as to how good of a job city regulations are doing at preventing crane accidents.

Sometimes, major changes in safety laws end up coming about from a significant construction accident. One wonders if the New York City crane collapse will end up permanently majorly changing what crane regulations look like in the city.

What kinds of things do you think need to be done here in New York City when it comes to crane accident prevention?

Source: ENR New York, "Precautions Failed to Stop Latest Deadly New York City Crane Collapse," Alisa Zevin, Feb. 5, 2016

Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.
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