Reports on this particular accident, about human error, allegations concerning false inspection reports, equipment failure and even thefts that resulted from the ensuing chaos in the amount of $90,000. These related woes highlight the chaotic and tragic nature of crane accidents. While men continually try to build, advance and reach higher, the natural elements and human error can bring everything to a crashing halt.
The psychological effects of crane accidents were one notable result in this case. The crane operator himself was merely attempting to shut the crane down for the day when he heard a snap and plummeted with the crane. Similar to other incidents, the crane crashed into several buildings, mostly condos and homes. Several people witnessed the event and expressed understandable sentiments of terror and fear.
Many of the most damaging crane accidents are instances when the entire crane collapses. Yet another ominous risk looms above the city streets. Cranes are built to lift massive loads to impressive heights. The normal means of accomplishing such a task is with some form of lifting sling. The importance of these slings is inestimable. OSHA has written several codes and regulations to ensure safe lifting slings. A proper understanding of sling strength and application is crucial. Yet with all of these precautions, sling accidents have still happened, with tragic results.
In December of 2007 a sling carrying large load of metal studs weighing 14,000 lbs. snapped dropping the 30-foot studs thirteen floors to the streets below. The majority of the studs landed on two trailers that the construction company was using for offices. Five safety violations were cited to the responsible parties.
No member of the general public was harmed, but an architect working in one of the trailers was rushed to the emergency room with multiple serious injuries. The construction zone will be the future world headquarters for Goldman Sachs and is located near the reconstruction of the World Trade Center.
Because of the magnitude of these accidents and the liability of several parties involved in crane accidents, the Buildings Department has issued several new safety regulations for crane operations. A city inspector is required to be present at the time of major crane maneuvers – when it is assembled, jumped or dismantled. “Jumping” the crane is the process of building it higher during construction. Before each jump, a meeting is required between the contractor and the workers to prepare for the operation. In addition to these personnel requirements, new guidelines and protocols are provided for the construction workers and more detailed reports are required after the maneuver.
These particular regulations followed the case of the Manhattan drop, and have been instituted only in New York City. Each city must create its own safety regulations, and all cities have safety measures to differing degrees.
Paul Galla, PresidentIndustrial-Rigging.Com