Aerial view of a crane on a construction on top of a tall skyscraper near the One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, NY

Everything You Need to Know About Crane Safety

As one of the world’s great metropolitan areas, it’s hardly unusual to see cranes and other heavy equipment on New York City streets. Our city has experienced a construction boom in recent years, making cranes an even more commonplace sight.

Yet while cranes play a critical role in our city’s infrastructure, they can also be very dangerous if operated improperly.

According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, an average of 44 people die in the US each year from crane accidents. The study also showed that roughly half of all crane deaths involved workers being struck by a falling object or equipment. Falls, meanwhile, represent about 14-percent of crane-related deaths.

The leading locations for crane accidents include construction sites (24-percent) and factories or plants (24-percent). Specialty trade contractors, heavy and civil engineering, construction and manufacturing are the most common industries where crane accidents occur, combining for nearly 70-percent of crane deaths.

New York City has seen a variety of high-profile crane accidents over the last few years. These incidents include a crane collapse in TriBeCa that killed one person and injured three; an industrial air conditioner unit that fell from a crane in Midtown Manhattan and injured multiple people and a crane collapse in the East Village in July, 2019 that temporarily closed the FDR Drive.

Recent national crane incidents include:

Common Causes of Crane Accidents

According to the Crane Inspection and Certification Bureau, 90-percent of crane accidents occur due to human error. The most common of these errors include:

  • Operators exceeding the crane’s operational capacity.
  • Swinging the boom or making a lift without the outriggers being fully extended.
  • Electrocution resulting from a crane coming into contact with a power source during operation.
  • Uncontrolled hoisted materials falling and striking workers.

When errors such as these occur, it places crane operators, workers and pedestrians in grave danger. Given the size and power of a crane, it’s unsurprising that half of all crane injuries result in death. When a serious or injury occurs, the crane operator, the property owner, the business owner and other parties may be held liable for negligence.

Finding the Right Crane Accident Attorney

At  The Frankel Law Firm, we’ve been fighting for the rights of accident victims for more than 40 years. We have the experience necessary to handle even the most complex crane accident cases.

If you have been injured in a crane accident, contact us today at (212) 888-5100 or at for a free consultation.

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