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New York construction work injuries prompt reform recommendations

When a plane goes down, investigators spend time searching for the black box that records important data to pinpoint the cause of the crash. Following a number of fatal crane accidents in New York, a panel report has recommended that construction cranes carry similar equipment. This, along with other reforms, could potentially reduce the number of work injuries and deaths due to construction accidents.

Equipping cranes with black boxes is not a new idea. In recent years these devices have been added to many cranes. Black boxes record such data as switch settings, the distance of the load from the crane cab, and the times when an operator overrides the crane's settings.

In addition to the black box, the report made a number of other recommendations. For example, before the workday begins, each crane should be inspected by a lift director who would use a checklist similar to those used for aircrafts. Contractors are urged to hire meteorologists to determine the wind and weather conditions, which may vary from street to street in the city. The report suggested considering the use of self-erecting cranes for work on low and mid-rise buildings. 

Until such measures are enforced, contractors and workers must build and repair structures under the current conditions. Many in New York seem to pass construction cranes warily, wondering how safe they are to live and work around. Construction workers who suffer work injuries due to unsafe working conditions may feel like it is taking too long for safety measures to be put into place. They may decide to turn to an attorney who can help them seek fair compensation for their injuries.

Source: cranehotline.com, "Technical Group Pushes for Dataloggers and Anemometers on NYC Cranes", June 13, 2016

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