New crane safety regulations are now in place for New York City following a tragic crane collapse on February 7th that took the life of an unsuspecting victim who had been on his way to work and injured three others. The accident that resulted in his death is thought to be directly linked to high winds, and the crane collapsed as workers were in the process of securing the crane and diverting traffic. Precautionary measures proved futile as the crew was unable to prevent the crane from falling onto the street below. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio responded by tightening regulations and increasing the amounts of fines to be assessed against offenders.
New Prevention Measures in Place
The new regulations now require all crane engineers to pull their cranes down the day before any forecasts that call for winds in excess of 20 mph and all operations must be halted at once any time unexpected wind gusts exceed the same speed. Other precautionary measures include closing off walkways and streets in areas that crane activity poses a threat to in the event of a collapse in order to reduce the chances that a pedestrian or motorist will be involved in any accident that results.
The Department of Buildings will be responsible for warning crane engineers of dangerous conditions and those who fail to comply with the department’s instructions will face much stiffer penalties. Past fines of up to $4,800 per incident can now reach $10,000 per occurrence and the heftier fines are meant to act as a strong deterrent against construction crews that attempt to continue working despite hazardous weather conditions.
Public Awareness of Crane Risks
Prior to the accident that occurred on February 7th, crane operators were only required to notify area residents and businesses about the risks associated with a crane in their area when the crane was installed. Now the public must be notified whenever the crane is erected or moved and updates must highlight which areas are at a heightened risk so that pedestrians and motorists can seek alternative routes.
The implementation of similar regulations in the City of Chicago could address similar concerns that pedestrians have when they must pass through construction zones and this most recent incident is a reminder of how quickly things can go wrong on a construction site.
Shared Liability in Construction Accidents
It can be difficult to determine who is at fault whenever such a tragedy occurs, and the responsibility is shared most of the time between the contractor, the employees operating the equipment and the manufacturer. Equipment malfunctions or poor product design can cause equipment to fail or reckless decisions can place workers and bystanders in harm’s way. If you have been injured in a construction accident, determining liability is the single most important step to ensuring that you receive the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has helped thousands of clients just like you recover the maximum amount of damages allowed by law when they have been injured due to other peoples’ careless actions. If you have been injured, contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our award winning Chicago construction accident attorneys to learn more about your legal options.