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Articles Tagged with New York Crane Accident

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Gregory EchevarriaA NYC hard hat who was installing a crane died after the counter weight he was setting fell on him.

34 year old Gregory Echevarria was part of a crew installing a crane at a luxury residential development located at 570 Broome Street in Soho early Saturday morning. A little bit after 3:00 am the crane counterweight that Echevarria was installing slipped and fatally struck him. The crew immediately called 911. When the EMS crew arrived they found him unresponsive with severe injuries all over his body. He was declared dead at the scene of the accident. Two other workers were also injured in the accident.  People who were in the area at the time of the accident reported a very loud sound as the 7.5 ton counterweight fell.

After the accident the crane was moved and a stop work order was issued by the Department of Buildings. The 570 Broom project is being built by  Agime Group. KSK Construction Group is managing the construction project. The DOB previously received several safety complaints for the site.

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A 63 year old man injured his foot in a crane accident in New York.  The accident occurred around 10:20 pm on Monday night near Penn Station on 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan. As it was lifting material, the arm of the machine collapsed.

The truck mounted crane belonging to the Brooklyn company Lifting Solutions was lifting I-beams for Starr Construction when the hydraulic system failed and the boom crashed on the sidewalk. Pedestrians panicked and ran for cover.  Some of them thought it was an explosion. One person was sent to the emergency room after being injured by the debris.

A  hazardous material team was dispatched by the FDNY to clean up the spill of hydraulic fluid.

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Gotham residential construction siteLast June, two construction workers were seriously injured in a mini-crane accident in New York because of the negligence of their contractor, Western Waterproofing Co. Inc from St. Louis (see previous blog).

The accident occurred after two supervisors working for the contractor rented a mini-crane, installed it on the fourth floor of the construction site and instructed an untrained worker to lift heavy curtain wall panels with it. The load was too heavy and the crane tipped and fell four stories down. Two workers, Jorge Delgado and Christopher Jackson were seriously injured during the accident.

Last week, OSHA cited the Missouri contractor for exposing employees to serious injuries and proposed a $155,204 fine against the company.

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Gotham residential construction siteIn June 2018 two construction workers were seriously injured in a mini crane accident in New York because of the negligence of their supervisors. These supervisors were indicted last week for their reckless behavior. They face second degree assault and reckless endangerment.

The accident occurred on June 25th at a Harlem construction site located on East 126th Street near Lexington Avenue. Workers hired by Western Waterproofing were installing a facade for a building made of stainless steel and giant glass panels. To help them install the panels, 41 year old Timothy Braico, a senior branch manager, rented a mini crane that was installed on the fourth floor of the building. None of the workers in the team had proper training to use the crane and no one knew how to proprely set it up. After the crane was installed without an approved DOB engineering plan specifying crane use and tethering, the site supervisor, 39 year old Terrence Edwards, ordered an untrained iron-worker to operate the crane.  The crane maximum load was 880 pounds. As workers were hoisting a 1500-pound glass panel onto the facade of the building, the crane toppled and crashed to the ground.  39 year old Christopher Jackson, was ejected in the air and fell 3-story to the ground. He suffered traumatic brain injury that affected his capacity to talk and walk.  Another worker, 37 year old Jorge Delgado was struck in the back and suffered severe spinal injury that affected his mobility.

In New York, construction sites using mini cranes have to follow specific procedures in order to legally use them. A permit application that includes detailed plans as well as the proof that the contractor hired a certified operator and certified rigging crew must be submitted to the DOB in order to use a mini crane.

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Three_World_Trade_Center_-_2015_renderThankfully nobody was injured in a New York crane accident last Thursday. Construction workers at the WTC site were pulling the unloaded line and hook of a crane standing on the top of a building under construction when the accident happened. The workers had been instructed to do so as a safety measure before a coming storm. A gust of wind sent a weighted ball attached to the crane’s line into a glass panel of the 3 World Trade Center building. Nobody was injured as the accident happened in the restricted perimeter of the WTC construction site.  John Gallager, the spokesman for  Tishman Construction said in a statement to the press that the glass window would be replaced and that the accident was being investigated.Read more in CBS New York

Wind and storms have been the cause of many crane accidents in New York City. Last February, David Wichs, who’s family is represented by our NYC crane accident attorney Howard  Hershenhorn, lost his life after the wind caused a giant crane to collapse on him. After the accident the city immediately increased mandatory safety measures for crane operators and created a special team to work on additional measures to prevent such accidents.

Picture: rendering of 3 World Trade Center courtesy of Wikipedia

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Crane ReportFollowing the fatal collapse of a crane in  lower Manhattan last February, Mayor de Blasio and NYC building commissioner Rick Chandler created the Crane Safety Technical Working Group. The mission of this independent group of experts was to assess actual New York crane safety regulations and provide a set of  recommendations to improve existing regulations and limit further crane accidents in New York City. A few days ago the group released a report that includes  23 recommendations to improve crane safety in New York City.

The group noted that despite having some of the most comprehensive crane safety regulations in the world, the NYC  Department of Buildings hasn’t comprehensively revised and updated these regulations since 2008. In between technology and best practices have evolved tremendously. A new effort to update regulations was launched by the DOB  last year but nothing has been released yet. Therefore the Crane Safety Technical Working Group proposes that the Department of Buildings integrates the Crane Safety Technical Working Group recommendations with their ongoing efforts to update the existing crane regulations.

In its recommendations, the group suggests:

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New York Wrongful Death Lawyer Howard HershenhornThe widow of David Wichs who was killed by a crane that collapsed on a New York Street (see previous post) is intending to sue the City for $600M. Rebecca Wichs who is represented by our partner, New York crane accident attorney Howard Hershenhorn, filed a notice of claim last week with the New York City Comptroller. Her husband David Wichs was walking on Worth Street, in downtown Manhattan, when a crane fell in the street and killed him. Rebecca Wichs is seeking $550 for wrongful death, $25 million for conscious pain and suffering and $25 million for loss of services.

Rebecca Wichs claims that The City was negligent in the manner in which they supervised the construction site.  It is also claimed The City failed to proprely consider the weather conditions in their decision making process. Knowing about the heavy snow and winds that were forecast for that day, The City should have ordered the lowering and securing of the crane the day before the collapse.

Read more in the New York Law Journal and on CBS News

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liftA hydraulic crane crashed into a building in New York yesterday. The accident occurred at 133 Essex Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Witnesses living in the neighborhood told the NY Daily News that they had been worrying about the crane for a few days. They mentioned that the crane was “funny looking”. Before crashing into a window of the building’s 6th floor the crane slowly tipped for two hours. After the accident, the FDNY received a request from the DOB to conduct a structural stability inspection. The results show the stability of the building was satisfactory but officials still ordered tenants from the top floors to evacuate their apartments.

The NYC Department of Building issued a stop work order for the construction site. In the past the construction site was hit with several complaints and violations. They have all been resolved or dismissed with the exception of a violation related to the elevator. The contractor,  Jepol Construction, was also hit with a violation for “failure to safeguard the site”.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia shows the type of crane that crashed into the building

 

 

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deblasioA week after a man died in a crane collapse in New York, the Mayor announced that the city will kick off a massive inspection blitz of construction sites and quadruple penalties for serious violations of safety on construction sites. The construction boom in the city has led to a dramatic increase of construction accidents. Last year there were 433 accidents, an increase of 75%  compared to 2014. Before the boom in 2009 there were  218 accidents, 98% less than in 2015.  According to DOT investigations, most of the construction accidents that happened last year in New York City could have been prevented if the contractor had simply followed the existing safety rules. Unfortunately too often contractors and developers are cutting corners and putting the life of their workers at risk to increase their profit.

Despite the cold weather Mayor de Blasio held his press conference in front of a East Village Construction site where a construction worker fell to his death on Christmas Eve. 33 year old Luis Alberto Pomboza, was working on the renovation of a multi-family  townhouse at 356 East 8th Street. Pomboza was demolishing a wall when a large portion of the wall fell on him and caused him to fall 4 stories. An Ecuadorian immigrant and father of 5, Pomboza was transported to the hospital in critical condition. He later died there from serious head trauma.  The construction site superintendent who was legally required to be on the construction site to ensure the safety of workers and the public wasn’t there when the accident happened. De Blasio indicated that last year 70% of the construction accidents in New York City occurred in buildings with 10 stories or less. Therefore the investigation blitz  that starts this week will focus on these types of construction sites. Inspectors will target contractors with bad safety records and working on buildings lower than 10 stories as well as all construction sites higher than 15 stories. The DOB will inspect a total of 1,500 job sites in the 90 coming days.

Fines for “serious failures to safeguard construction sites” will increase from $2,400 to $10,000 and if the construction site is lacking a site superintendent the penalty will reach a maximum of $25,000 instead of $5,000. Additionally starting in July, superintendents will be required for all major construction projects at buildings under 10 stories. Superintendents will be required to log daily reviews of site safety.

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deblasioAs the investigation continues into the causes of Friday’s fatal crane accident in Lower Manhattan, De Blasio announced new safety measures that took place yesterday.  The measures are temporary while a task force will draft long term safety measures over the next 90 days. One of the measures requires crawler cranes to stop operating and to go into safety mode when the wind forecast are for steady winds speeds of 20 miles per hour or higher or gusts of at least 30 mph. Before the rule was respectively 30 mph for steady winds and 40 mph for gusts of wind. Additionally cranes will have to be brought to safety the day before winds are forecasted  to be above the security level.  Pedestrian security will be enforced with the help of the Department of Buildings, Department of Transportation, NYPD, and FDNY anytime there will be a securing of a crane. Before that only construction workers were responsible to secure the site. Nearby residents will not only be informed about when a crane is installed but also when it is moved.

Read the transcript of the Press Conference