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Crane accidents at center of resistance to new regulations

Throughout New York, construction is an ongoing process. Buildings for residential use, business use and for recreational activities are constantly being cobbled together. While the vast majority of these sites are run safely and with the interests of the workers and passersby in mind, there are sometimes circumstances and mistakes that can lead to a construction accident. Regulatory authorities try to implement safeguards based on the particular situations that might arise to avoid a construction site accident.

Regulations that were drafted after a fatal incident in early 2016 in which a crane collapsed and killed a man are being resisted by trade organizations. The rules stem from a crane that collapsed and killed a 38-year-old man. The proposed rules state that when the winds reach a certain point - 30 miles-per-hour - the cranes are required to be shut down. According to the trade organizations, the number is random and is not scientifically-based.

The fatal incident in early 2016 sparked the regulatory proposal. The crane in question is known as a "crawler crane" and was more than 500 feet high. After this particular incident, the use of these cranes was banned on a temporary basis throughout the city. Construction trade groups are concerned about the cost of adhering to the new regulations while they claim there is no proof that the safety measures are based in fact. They say that the manufacturer of the cranes generally will be adhered to when using these machines with some saying it can be used at wind speeds higher than 30 mph and others lower. The trade organization says that the regulations were drafted by those who are not experienced in the industry but are instead focused on academic research.

Crane accidents can cause significant injuries, death and destruction. With construction accidents, one of the most important factors in a legal case is to determine whether the regulations were followed. Given the changes that are being proposed and resisted, it is important to have assistance from a legal professional who is acquainted with all the laws as they stand. Those who have been hurt or lost a loved one in crane accidents should contact an attorney who is experienced in construction issues for help.

Source: Crain's, "Construction groups sue in effort to dismantle city's new crane safety rules," Joe Anuta, Oct. 26, 2016

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