Cranes are a part of everyday life in New York City. With so much ongoing construction and repairs, they are a common sight to see. But what happens when these huge pieces of equipment fail?
Despite the countless stringent safety procedures in place to secure cranes and ensure safe operation, injuries and fatalities happen more often than they should, including in areas like Staten Island.
If you are a pedestrian or construction worker who was hurt in a crane accident, it is important to get in touch with a skilled Staten Island crane accident lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced attorneys at Shulman & Hill advocate for those who are hurt in accidents to ensure they are compensated for their losses.
How Cranes Are Used in Staten Island
Cranes are a fixture of daily life in Staten Island. These machines use different types of ropes or chains to lift and lower heavy materials. Different types of cranes are used for various purposes, such as:
- Moving materials in the construction industry
- Loading and unloading freight
- Putting together heavy equipment in the manufacturing industry
Some cranes can reach extremely tall heights and carry heavy loads. For example, a tower crane can reach a height of almost 265 feet when it is unsupported. Tower cranes can lift up to 18 metric tons, or 39,690 pounds of weight. There are switches that operators use to ensure that they are not carrying too much weight.
So, how do these structures reach so high and carry so much weight without falling over? This is due to the huge pad of concrete that gets poured weeks before the crane even arrives on site. Anchor bolts are embedded deep into the pad of concrete to support the crane’s base. This design helps to ensure baseline stability. As the crane extends to reach its maximum height, counterweights are placed on horizontal sections placed throughout the mast. This ensures that the crane can lift heavy loads from maximum heights.
Common Crane Accidents in Staten Island
Due to the size and height of cranes, there are a large number of potential hazards involved in operating and being near these heavy pieces of machinery. This is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) strictly regulates the use of machinery like cranes. In addition to following regular safety procedures for operating the equipment, periodic inspections are extremely important to ensuring crane safety. When all of its components are not thoroughly inspected at the required intervals, things can go terribly wrong.
Some examples of crane accidents include:
- Crane collapse. If a crane is carrying a load that exceeds its weight limits, or if its weight is not counterbalanced properly with counterweights, it can collapse. These accidents can be catastrophic.
- Dropped loads. When cranes exceed the maximum weight to be lifted, or other safety protocols are not followed, heavy tons of materials are at risk of being dropped. This can cause extreme damage to the surrounding property and cause critical injuries and fatalities, particularly if items fall onto a nearby worker.
- Power line interference. According to OSHA, no part of the crane or its load should come within 20 feet of a power line. Many steps should be taken to avoid this, such as surveying where power lines are and discussing with workers how to prevent the crane from coming too close to a power line. Workers also need to either use a spotter who is constantly in contact with the operator or use a proximity alarm that gives the operator sufficient warning when the crane gets close to the 20-foot radius. Electrocution and downed power lines are possible consequences of ignoring these steps.
- Assembly or disassembly mishaps. Parts of the crane must be assembled on site. That involves using heavy equipment to put together the heavy crane components. When OSHA guidelines are not followed during the process, or workers cut corners, serious injuries can occur.
Pursuing Compensation for a Crane Accident Injury
You might have trouble figuring out your next steps when you have been in a serious crane accident. The aftermath of such an incident can be tough, but your next steps will depend on a few factors. Here are the likely options, depending on your situation:
Filing for Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to employees who are injured on the job. If you are a construction worker injured in a crane accident, you will most likely be able to obtain these benefits. Your employer pays for workers’ compensation insurance to protect you in the event of an injury.
Workers’ compensation can offer you regular payments for lost wages, medical costs, and death benefits for spouses and dependents of workers who suffered a fatality on the job.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
In some cases, you may be able to pursue additional compensation for your injuries by filing a personal injury lawsuit. You might be able to hold the property owners, general contractors, or subcontractors financially responsible for your injuries if they failed to provide a reasonably safe work site or necessary safety equipment.
How Can a Staten Island Crane Accident Attorney Help?
There are many reasons to seek out a qualified industrial and crane accident lawyer when you are injured on the job. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be tedious without the support of a professional attorney. Our lawyers at Shulman & Hill can ensure that the process is completed thoroughly, greatly reducing the chance for delays or denials. If we believe a third party’s negligence may have contributed to your accident, our attorneys can also help you file a personal injury lawsuit.
Why Choose Shulman & Hill?
Seeking help from a skilled Staten Island crane accident lawyer is one of the best ways to maximize your chances of getting fair compensation for your accident. Medical costs are expensive, and with the cost of living in New York City being so high, many people cannot afford to suffer from any reduction in their wages.
Our attorneys at Shulman & Hill will use their expert investigative and litigation expertise to help you recover compensation and hold any liable third parties accountable so that you can spend the time you need recovering. If you have been hurt in a crane accident in Staten Island, contact Shulman & Hill as soon as possible. We will review your case for free.