Construction Expert Witness Discusses Crane Accident

    This case involves a thirty-four-year-old male construction worker who was injured in a crane accident. The project occurred at the construction site of a major hospital in Manhattan. At the time of the incident, the plaintiff was installing a piece of scaffolding located beneath the path of the crane’s boom. The crane operator proceeded to lift a steel I-Beam and move it into place. The cable that was connected to the crane suddenly snapped and caused the steel I-Beam to fall.  The steel I-Beam fell approximately two stories and crushed both of the plaintiff’s legs. As a result of the injuries the plaintiff suffered, he was unable to return to work for eleven months and requires a projection of lost wages.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. What are the standard safety protocols when a crane is on site and how should this incident have been avoided?

    Expert Witness Response

    Construction sites can create dangerous work environments, although there are very strict safety precautions that must be enforced to reduce the risk of injury. I have extensive experience working with cranes on construction sites and am familiar with the OSHA safety standards, the Regulatory Agenda, Federal Registers, directives, and standard interpretations that apply when working with these machines. Crane operators undergo extensive safety training and should be very aware of all individuals who are on the construction site. When transporting heavy loads, there should be no individual located within close proximity of the “swing radius” and absolutely no individuals located under the path of the crane’s load. Additionally, the operator is required to inspect the crane’s wire rope for signs of abnormalities. These include broken wires, loss of individual wire diameter, kinks, crushing, stretching, and bird caging. Inspection of the hook latch and load chain are also pertinent to maintaining safe operation.

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