Working on a construction site poses many challenges, and very often significant safety issues. Construction workers must be prepared for anything, from unsafe conditions to heavy equipment to hazardous materials, just to cite a few examples. This includes even dangers from crane collapses and other equipment failures.
On January 9, 2024, five construction workers were hurt, with three seriously injured, in a crane collapse at a construction site in the area of Ninth Avenue and West 207th Street in Manhattan. Police responded to calls at this location, where they learned that a crane on a knuckle boom truck had collapsed while moving loads of plywood onto the second floor of the under-construction 17-story residential building. Thankfully, none of the injured workers suffered life-threatening injuries. However, an event like this could have been avoided altogether.
Notably, this incident was not the first safety violation at this particular site. It was discovered that there were already two open and ongoing violations at the site. An official determined that these violations were due to the site’s general contractor’s failures to communicate with the workers.
In a city like New York that is highly populated, construction work makes it inherently difficult for both the workers on site and those living and working close by to navigate. When unenforced safety regulations and mismanagement are factored in, it only makes it more difficult for those already affected. Construction site accidents, such as crane collapses, are all too common in the construction industry, where safety and regulations often become a trade-off in favor of completing work as quickly as possible. Preventable occurrences like this crane collapse can cause additional difficulty and stress for on-site construction workers, as well as their family and friends who are concerned for the workers’ safety at these often dangerous sites.
In addition to crane collapses, safety hazards at construction sites include defective scaffolding, a lack of safety equipment such as hard hats and harnesses, improper maintenance of heavy machinery and materials, exposure to dangerous chemicals, and more. Safety should be the number one priority on all construction sites, but it is clear that is not always the case.