A malfunctioning crane that unexpectedly dropped a load of steel beams in February will delay completion of Four World Trade Center by more than two months. The faulty crane, which was manufactured in 1976, was taken apart immediately following the incident and is no longer in service. For the time being, the building site operated by Tishman Construction will continue with only one working crane. Luckily, no one on the ground was injured in the accident.
The crane malfunction is currently under investigation by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The New York City Department of Buildings notified crane operators of other FMC / Link-Belt TG 1900 cranes that all capacity loads should be reduced by at least 25 percent as a safety precaution until the cause of the accident can be determined. A crane with the same model number is currently in use at the Three World Trade Center building site. It was also tested after the incident despite the fact that its interior machinery was previously replaced.
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found no other crane deficiencies at the Four World Trade Center building site. After investigating the incident, OSHA was also purportedly satisfied with Tishman Construction’s safety program. A representative for Tishman Construction’s corporate safety division, Dwayne Carter, alleged that the company’s safety rules prevented a more serious accident. According to Carter, an access zone and alarm system is used to prevent personnel from getting too close to a crane’s drop zone while in use. Without proper safety protocols, the construction accident would have likely been tragic.
Construction employees are often faced with hazardous working conditions on a daily basis. Unfortunately, building site accidents tragically hurt or kill thousands of workers each year. Despite that workplace injuries are normally subject to state workers’ compensation laws, a third party may be held legally responsible under Section 240 of New York’s Labor Law if a worker is injured due to defective or inadequate safety equipment including ladders and scaffolding. The manufacturer of equipment used on a construction site may be held responsible for creating a defective or dangerous product. Contractors also have a duty to warn workers about potential safety hazards and take proper safety precautions. If you were hurt while working at a building site, it is a good idea to contact a qualified personal injury attorney to explain your rights and your options for financial recovery.