Construction Site Crane Accident Leaves Ten Injured
A component of a crane failed while attempting to lift a large heating and air-conditioning unit into a high-rise building on Madison Avenue, near where construction workers were replacing a recently-burst water main. The accident occurred Sunday morning, May 31st. Ten people were injured by falling debris and broken glass. After the crash, authorities were stationed at either end of the block surrounding the building and closed additional surrounding blocks, as there were concerns that additional debris could fall from other parts of the building, injuring additional bystanders. Fortunately, the block on the side of the building where the accident occurred was already closed to pedestrians and car traffic, due to the water main construction.
When the accident occurred, the crew working on the office building located at 261 Madison Avenue were attempting to get the heating and air conditioning unit into the control room on top of the building. At one point, a “rigging strap” holding the reportedly four-ton unit to the crane snapped. Witnesses report that the crane’s load began swinging and repeatedly crashed into the side of the building as it fell to the ground. The unit tore metal and concrete from the building’s façade as it fell, shattering windows as well. When the unit hit the ground in the middle of Madison Avenue in front of a popular Japanese restaurant, one neighbor reported that it sounded “like a freight train.” Debris from the building sent five drivers and two construction workers to nearby hospitals, while three other individuals who were injured did not seek medical attention.
The local buildings commissioner reported that the crane had appeared to meet safety standards in a recent inspection, though the date of the crane’s inspection was not provided. According to public records, the crane is owned by a company called Bay Cranes and operated by Skylift Contractor Corp. An incident occurred involving the two companies previously, where a Bay crane operated by a Skylift contractor collapsed at a construction site.
Construction Site Injuries Are Increasing
Construction site injuries are up from last year in New York City, with 125 people already injured in the first six months of Fiscal Year 2015, and at least three people killed within the past three months. A recent accident at a Midtown construction site involving a crane arm known as a “knuckle boom” killed a worker on the site. The company responsible for that work site, Flintlock Construction of Mamaroneck, has been cited as an OSHA “Severe violator” based on the receipt of numerous safety complaints and reports of dangerous conditions for workers.
Construction site safety is extremely important, and violations of the numerous codes and safety regulations governing construction sites can lead to serious injury or death for those working on the site. Don’t allow yourself to be put in harm’s way by a lazy or cheap contractor. If you or a loved one have been injured while working on, or simply passing by, a construction site, you need experienced legal help to ensure that you’re fully compensated for your injuries. Contact the knowledgeable Hudson Valley personal injury and construction site attorneys at Basch & Keegan for a no-cost evaluation of your claims. From anywhere in the lower Hudson Valley, including Ellenville, Kingston, Ulster, Poughkeepsie, or Goshen, call (845) 338-8884 to speak with an attorney about your claims.