New Measure Tightens Crane Regulations throughout New York City

Construction sites are filled with numerous potential hazards. While there are many ways workers and nearby pedestrians can be hurt or even killed by the dangers on construction worksites, few have as devastating a potential to cause serious and numerous injuries as crane accidents.

As a concrete jungle filled with skyscrapers, New York City is home to one of the largest concentrations of cranes in the world. Because these cranes are massive machines that put the lives of workers and the public at risk, there are a number of regulations and laws in place to ensure construction companies, workers, and crane operators take all measures necessary to reducing risks of preventable accidents.

Although laws governing the operation of cranes have long been in effect, recent increases in construction accidents and construction site deaths have sparked new efforts to tighten regulations. This includes a recent measure passed just this week by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio that tightens crane safety regulations across all five boroughs.

The following crane regulations are now in effect under de Blasio’s new measure:

  • Crawler cranes, which are cranes that move on tracks, must stop operating when winds are expected to exceed 20 mph, or when wind gusts exceed 30 mph.
  • Crane operators that do not abide by the restriction will be fined $10,000, as opposed to less than $5,000 under the previous law.
  • Construction companies and crane operators must now notify nearby residents, businesses, and buildings before cranes are moved, rather than only when a crane is first installed.
  • City officials will increase their oversight and enforcement of street and sidewalk closures when cranes are in operation. Officials will be able to issue violations if construction workers are not property restricting pedestrians and vehicles in those areas.

Mayor de Blasio’s measure came just days after a fatal Manhattan crane accident killed one victim, a trading firm employee who was near the construction site. The accident occurred on a windy day as workers attempted to secure a fully extended crane. The 500 foot crane later fell across two city blocks, damaging property and killing the victim. A newly created task force will continue to investigate the incident and suggest other safety measures based on their findings. Mayor de Blasio reported that following the proposals, new construction site safety regulations may be announced within the next 90 days.

Unfortunately, it is often tragedies like these that remind us of the serious dangers construction sites pose to our communities, and why we need strict laws that compel construction companies and crane operators into doing what it safe and best for the public. Unfortunately, companies that look to increase productivity or cut costs may take short cuts and commit violations that place others at risk. When they do, and when innocent victims suffer harm as a result, they can be held accountable for their failures to uphold their legal obligations, and liable for victims’ damages.

At Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices, we fight for victims who have been injured through no fault of their own, including victims of construction accidents. If you or someone you love has recently been hurt on or near a construction site, or if your loved one passed away as the result of a construction accident, we are available 24/7 to help you through these difficult times. Learn more about your rights and whether you may be entitled to compensation for your losses by contacting our Brooklyn construction accident lawyer today. We serve victims and families throughout New York City and beyond.