Last week, during a test by crane engineers, a crack in a newly erected crane at the World Trade Center site was discovered. The test was part of a series of inspections required during the installation process.
The mandatory inspections could possibly be linked to regulations issued by OSHA in August 2010 concerning crane operation and inspection.
“In this incident, we can see the law working. The cracks in a crane were discovered before anyone was hurt or injured in a construction accident and that’s the way the law should work,” said David Perecman.
The cracks in the crane must be repaired before work can safely proceed on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site.
According to the New York Post, the crane may be repaired on site, but a remedial plan must be approved by the city’s Dept. of Buildings.
A spokesperson from World Trade Center leaseholder Silverstein Properties said, “there was no safety risk.”
Cranes are one of the most relied upon pieces of heavy equipment on a construction site. It is estimated that crane accidents cause approximately 30% of all construction deaths and injuries on construction sites.
According to a 2007 Congressional Research Service report for Congress, a total of 323 construction worker deaths involving 307 crane incidents were identified from 1992-2006, an average of 22 construction worker deaths per year.
OSHA requires that cranes be inspected regularly and any flaw or imperfections must be fixed or replaced. Cranes must be inspected thoroughly by a certified crane inspector after being assembled or modified. To prevent construction accidents, OSHA also requires inspection of crane equipment during periods of continuous and severe usage, extreme weather conditions and following a dormant use period of three months or longer. If crane equipment poses a safety hazard, it must be taken out of operation and repaired before any work continues.
“Machinery and equipment must be inspected prior to each use and during use, to make sure it is in safe operating condition. Everything from the hook, sheaves, boom and even tires on the crane must be closely examined,” explained Perecman, the former head New York construction accident lawyer for the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, and a lecturer on construction accident law.
Historically, construction has been one of the most hazardous industries to work in as measured by number of deaths. Construction workers who work with cranes are always at risk of suffering serious injuries or other construction related accidents.
“A construction company can not ignore legitimate safety concerns in the name of saving time and money in New York,” Perecman said. “If the causes of a crane accident are avoidable, meaning that someone’s negligence was the cause of the crane accident, a victim of the construction accident, or his or her family, can obtain financial compensation for the crane accident injuries or construction site death.”
David Perecman and his team at The Perecman Firm have recovered millions of dollars for clients injured in construction accidents. Construction workers who have been injured in a crane accident in New York should contact them to make sure they are getting maximum compensation for construction accident pain, lost wages, and suffering.