A crane accident at the construction site of the new World Trade Center last month highlights the dangers construction workers face each day. While the damage turned out to be minimal, and a single worker received minor injuries, it could have been much worse.
New York construction site injury attorney Nussin Fogel reports that on February 16, a crane broke at World Trade Center Building 4, sending a 38,000 lb. load of steel beams plummeting 40 stories. The beams hit a flatbed truck. No one was present in the area where the beams fell, apparently, for the only reported injuries were to the crane operator.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation. The crane had a load capacity that should have been more than sufficient - 150 tons, nearly eight times the weight of the beams. There apparently has been some confusion regarding which department should conduct the investigation. The New York Bureau of Buildings normally does so in downtown accidents, but the World Trade Center is owned by the state and overseen by the Port Authority.
Regardless, this is not the only recent accident at this site of terrible tragedy. Last May, a passing youth was injured by a falling steel rod. That same month, a construction worker suffered a chest injury by when he was hit by construction equipment. In July, a worker received an injury to his leg from falling metal. Finally, in November, a worker fell twenty feet at building 3.
According to the New York City Department of Buildings, at this particular site, there were 157 construction-related accidents in 2010. While this number is down significantly from 2009, this is due mainly to the fact that fewer building permits were issued. Construction workers face injuries from falls from heights, falling objects including debris, material, tools and equipment, ladder and scaffolding collapses and chemicals - there is little wonder that their trade statistically results in the most accidents.