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Tappan Zee Bridge crane accident under investigation by OSHA

Construction workers are in one of the most dangerous fields in the country. This was recently highlighted with the Tappan Zee Bridge crane collapse. Currently, the state Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a federal organization, are investigating.

Government officials are taking the accident seriously. In fact, a publication by Insurance Journal discussing the accident quotes Gov. Andrew Cuomo, noting that he was pushing for answers and encouraging "agencies to accelerate and expedite the investigation because we want to know what [the cause of the accident] was." 

Construction in New York: Tappan Zee Bridge not the first crane accident

Unfortunately for New York construction workers, this is not the first issue with crane accidents. The city's history of crane accidents may be part of the catalyst for Gov. Cuomo's call to action.

Crane safety came into the spotlight in New York in 2008 after a series of catastrophic accidents where crane booms snapped and tumbled to the ground below. These accidents pummeled the buildings below and resulted in serious injuries and death to construction workers and bystanders.

Crane accident in New York: Details about the Tappan Bridge accident

There are a number of different cranes used in construction projects. The crane that fell in the Tappan Bridge accident is a crawler crane. The name refers to the fact that the crane is on tracks, much like a bulldozer, giving the appearance that is "crawling" across the work area.

The crane at issue was fairly new, reportedly less than one year old. It was stationed to work on a portion of the project on the new part of the bridge. This crane is just one of 28 working to complete the new bridge - many of which are much larger than this crane.

The accident occurred when the crane's 250 foot boom, also known as the arm of the crane, collapsed. Portions of the crane fell beneath the bridges, another portion fell on the construction platform and still another onto the old portion of the bridge.

At the time, the old portion of the bridge was still in use. This caused numerous cars to swerve to avoid the incoming projectile. Amazingly, though the accident did result in some car collisions, no automobiles were crushed by the massive piece of construction equipment and no fatalities have been reported.

The investigation to the cause of the accident, as noted above, is still underway.

Crane accidents in New York: Tips for victims

Those who are injured in crane accidents while on the job are likely eligible for compensation to cover the costs associated with the accident. This can include medical bills, rehabilitative costs and lost wages.

These funds are generally available through a workers' compensation claim. However, workers' comp cases can be difficult. Contact an experienced workers' compensation lawyer to better ensure you receive the full compensation you are entitled.

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