Could This Crane Accident Have Been Prevented?

Posted on January 4, 2016 at 11:06am by

Photo of construction areaNot long ago, the steel boom of a crane pinned and killed a construction worker in Manhattan. Witnesses at the scene watched in horror as the other workers in the area were helpless to save their coworker. “Everybody went crazy,” said one witness when describing the moments following the crane accident. “The working guys — they were trying to help him.”

According to the report, the victim was just about to check on a mechanical failure in the crane when the heavy boom suddenly collapsed on him, pinning him between the boom and the flatbed of the truck.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, they raised the steel boom using jack lifts, but paramedics were unable save the victim. FDNY Deputy Chief Joseph Carlsen said that “the hydraulics malfunctioned.”

The victim migrated to the U.S. from Ireland nearly 15 years ago, eventually coming to own Kenry Contracting. He also acted as the crane operator for his company. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters, all of whom were in Ireland at the time of the accident.

Can Crane Accidents Be Prevented?

Larger cranes are required to be regulated and inspected by city officials, but smaller cranes, such as the one the victim was using, are not covered by city regulations.

The “mechanical failure” described in the accident report may have been a sign of a manufacturing defect, or otherwise faulty equipment, but no report has yet been released concerning the malfunction.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that as many as 80 people are killed in crane accidents involving negligence. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has crane regulation standards listed here for maintaining crane safety.

Donald G. Targan & Associates. is a personal injury law firm that handles various workplace injury cases throughout New Jersey, including in Cape May, Lower Township and Wildwood.


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