09/09/2013 // New York, NY, USA // jcreiterlaw // Jonathan C. Reiter // (press release)

Among all of the types of construction site accidents, crane accidents are possibly the most catastrophic, causing many deaths and gruesome injuries to the workers at the site. Construction cranes are huge machines, weighing thousands of tons, and towering hundreds of feet into the sky. A construction crane can load up to twenty tons of construction material, and a crane collapse can shower those tons of material and debris onto the workers and passers-by below. An analysis of past crane accidents show that these types of accidents were preventable had warning signs been heeded, and employer inspections and New York City Building Department inspections were properly carried out before the accidents occurred.

The causes of crane accidents include:

• a crane collapse

• improper set-up of the crane

• a crane striking a worker or passer-by

• collisions with other equipment

• overloading of the crane

• negligent operation of the crane

In crane accidents that are caused by a collapse of the crane, there are often warning signs, such as noises emanating from the crane and improper spooling of the crane wire during its use. These warning signs are easily picked up during a proper inspection, but in many crane accidents New York City inspectors did not perform scheduled inspections prior to the collapse. Many times crane operators were ordered to keep operating the crane, despite the warning signs and complaints from the workers themselves. These types of accidents are a strong example of why the Labor Laws of New York are so vitally important to the safety of the workers.

Jonathan C. Reiter, a New York construction accident attorney with offices located in the Empire State Building, who has handled many construction site accident cases, explained how crane accidents are preventable if the safety regulations are strictly followed: “These tragic accidents appear to be preventable in hindsight. If there are complaints about safety, they should be heeded and investigated properly and professionally. Moreover, the City of New York is required to send their own investigators on a regular basis to inspect these cranes due to the high risk of catastrophic injuries and deaths should a crane collapse. In the most recent crane collapse, proper inspections were not done and warning signs were ignored for the purposes of moving the construction along and saving money, at the expense of worker safety.”

Mr. Reiter explained the application of the Labor Law to these types of accidents, as follows: “Labor Law section 241(6) is applicable because in almost all of these types of accidents, there have been multiple violations of the N.Y. Industrial Code. If the victim, through an experienced attorney, proves the violation(s) of the Code, liability will be imposed on the owner and general contractor. Moreover, if a crane collapses and drops a load onto workers below, or itself falls on those below, Labor Law section 240(1) applies, since it concerns a fall from a height.”

It is therefore, indisputable, that workers and their families require the protections of the Labor Laws of New York, since employers and their agents appear to still place profit over safety. Without the protection of these very important laws, this society would have thousands more injuries and deaths, and then no remedy for the families and children left behind, who have lost all the support and nurture from an injured or dead worker and provider.

This information was brought to you by The Law Firm of Jonathan C. Reiter.

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