There have been an alarming number of dramatic and potentially deadly crane accidents in New York City in recent years. The 2008 collapse at 303 East 51st Street, for example, is still making headlines today because investigators uncovered falsified inspection documents.
As part of Mayor Bloomberg’s quest to make New York City construction sites safer (which has included over 25 new construction safety laws passed since 2008), Bloomberg proposed legislation designed to minimize the number of future crane accidents in NYC. By imposing a mandatory age limit on all machines operating within city limits, the former Mayor hoped that potential accidents would be avoided before a hazard arises.
The newly proposed rule change would limit the effective lifespan of mobile and tower cranes within city limits to 25 years. After that 25 year span, the machines must be retired or, at least, pulled from operation within New York City. The regulation would base this limit on the crane’s original date of manufacture or that of the machine’s oldest component.
It was hoped that by removing old, stressed, and potentially weakened machinery from operation that the number of crane accidents in New York City will dramatically decline.
Additional requirements within this legislation include “load cycle counters” which would automatically record every lift a crane made during normal operation. This is essential for determining the crane’s maintenance schedule and spotting potential hazards.
Opponents say the available data fails to back-up the assumption that older machines are more dangerous. In fact, a statement from the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association points out that most crane accidents are caused by operator error rather than machinery malfunctions.
Regardless of the cause (operator error or malfunctioning equipment), if you or a loved one has been injured in a crane accident in New York City, contact a qualified crane accident attorney immediately to discuss the details of your case. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.