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Recent crane collapse highlights dangers of large construction equipment

Last Friday, residents and passersby were shocked and terrified when a towering 565-foot construction crane tumbled down in lower Manhattan. The accident occurred as, due to concerns about increasing winds, the crane operator was attempting to lower and secure the hulking boom and members of the construction crew were attempting to clear the streets of pedestrians and motorists.

A 38-year-old man was killed in the accident and three other members of the public were injured. City officials and the police continue to investigate factors that may have contributed to the crane's collapse. The accident prompted Mayor de Blasio to issue new temporary crane safety rules within the city and has cast a spotlight on the many dangers that construction equipment like cranes, derricks and hoists pose to workers and members of the public alike.

Within the construction industry, workers must routinely operate and perform associated work tasks around large moving equipment and machinery. In an effort to protect workers and members of the public, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established clear rules and regulations related to the training of large equipment operators, how work involving large equipment should be carried out and the assembly and inspection of the equipment.

When construction companies fail to abide by OSHA’s large equipment rules and regulations, accidents are more likely to occur and such accidents often have deadly results. Every year, there are cases in which workers are injured and killed while they are operating or working near equipment and machinery that malfunctions, topples over or drops falling objects.

For workers and families who have been negatively impacted due to an accident involving a crane, derrick or hoist; it's wise to seek legal advice.

Source: The New York Times, "Crane Collapse in Lower Manhattan Kills One Person," Rick Rojas and Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Feb. 5, 2016

OSHA "Cranes & Derricks in construction," Feb. 9, 2016

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