The near-fatal crane accident in New York City last month was likely caused by faulty rigging. The intensive investigation into this accident along a busy street in Manhattan revealed that one of the lift straps was likely cut by the edge of the air conditioning equipment being lifted on the high-rise. The 13-ton unit was able to exert enough pressure on one single point in the lift strap to act like a knife and slice cleanly through it.
The unit was destined for the top of 261 Madison Avenue in Manhattan but when the hoist broke the machinery tumbled several stories to the sidewalk below, striking the building at multiple points during its fall. Several pedestrians and at least two construction workers received relatively minor injuries from falling debris.
Under normal circumstances rigging crews use some sort of buffer or padding between the load being lifted and the straps. This prevents the sharp edges from cutting through the supporting material and prevents crane accidents such as this. Indeed, according to rigging expert Mike Parnell, when the lifting strap makes a 90 degree bend around whatever load is being lifted, the load exerts 40% more pressure at that specific point on the lift strap.
However, one study by Haag Engineering Co. found that improper or faulty rigging was one of the leading causes of crane accidents in New York City. Nearly 50% of all such crane accidents can be traced back to defects in the lifting sling or how that sling is positioned around the load.
Similar crane accidents in New York City have resulted in injured individuals winning thousands of dollars in financial settlements both in and out of court.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crane accident in New York City (regardless of whether a construction worker or simply a passerby) contact an expert New York City crane accident attorney today. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at 646-736-2777 or 212-385-1122 to learn your rights.