The spate of construction accidents involving cranes seems to continue unabated across New York, with officials wringing their hands at the number of serious injuries and fatalities, yet little has been done to reverse the trend.
The latest accident happened last Friday in New York City and involved a crane collapse at a construction site. Normally, when crane accidents happen, they tend to affect workers at the site, but in this incident, it was pedestrians and bystanders who came off worse.
A 38-year-old pedestrian, David Wichs, was killed outright, according to a statement made by New York City’s Mayor Bill De Blasio. Also in the wrong place at the wrong time were two bystanders who were seriously injured by the collapsing crane machinery, while another person received minor injuries.
According to statistics from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 21 people have been killed as a result of crane collapses and other serious machinery malfunctions across the city since 2006. The worst of these crane accidents in recent times was in March 2008. In that month, a crane collapsed at an Upper East Side construction site. Six workers fell to their deaths when the crane collapsed from under them, while a seventh worker was seriously injured but managed to survive his injuries.
To be fair, NYC is not the only city with these sorts of construction accidents involving cranes, but it certainly seems to have more than its fair share of fatal accidents. The same month that the Upper East Side collapse took place, a similar accident happened at a site in Miami, Florida, resulting in the deaths of two construction workers and injuries to five others. In this particular accident, the construction workers killed were not even close to the crane or working with it. They were having a meeting in a nearby building when part of a crane broke off from the main machine and crashed through the roof of the building where the meeting was taking place.
2008 was a bad year for this type of accident, because in addition to the NYC and Miami accidents, an even worse incident took place in Houston, Texas, when a crane 30 stories high fell over and caused the death of four workers, with the serious injury tally reaching seven more workers.
It doesn’t seem as if the mechanisms which should have been put in place concerning crane safety have ever been updated or improved despite this chain of accidents. The push to build buildings at any cost regardless of the human tragedies involved must be too great.
In many cases, workers’ compensation may help to compensate injured workers or their families in the event of a fatality, but often the payouts are not sufficient for the tremendous financial losses which serious accidents often result in. This is when using the services of an experienced construction accident attorney like Richard S. Jaffe Esq., of the Law Offices of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, may result in achieving a fair compensation package which can help the injured victim cope with the ongoing effects of injuries and loss of earnings.
Contact him for a free consultation at the Law Offices of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, 2001 Marcus Avenue, Suite W295, Lake Success, NY 11042. Phone: 516-358-6900 or toll free: 800-483-6149.