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Crane collapse results in new fines

The collapse of an enormous crane on Worth Street on February 5, 2016, highlights the dangers that construction workers face every day. Questions remain about the exact cause of the collapse, although high winds may be partly to blame.

The collapse occurred while the crane was being lowered due to dangerous wind gusts. New York City officials estimate that it may be weeks before they know why the crane collapsed. The crane's cab turned upside down during the collapse and the 565-foot arm crashed in the street, covering a city block.

Mayor Bill de Blasio reacted to the collapse by instituting new fines for crawler cranes. Fines will be doubled for construction companies that fail to adhere to safety regulations. But will this be enough to increase safety for construction workers and bystanders?

Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. Heavy equipment accidents such as this crane collapse are only one of the many hazards of construction work. OSHA violations, lack of training, operator error, faulty equipment and miscommunication between contractors are just a few of the additional dangers of working on a construction site.

Injured construction workers are entitled to workers' compensation benefits. In some cases, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party as well. In third-party suits, you can seek additional damages, including compensation for pain and suffering, which is not part of workers' compensation benefits.

If you or a family member suffered injuries on a construction site, speak with a lawyer about workers' compensation and additional damages. It is important that you understand your rights so you receive the compensation you need.

Source: www.fox5ny.com, "New restrictions for construction cranes," February 8, 2016.

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