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Are crane regulations in NYC saving lives or stifling work?

High-rise construction is booming in New York City. With the increase in construction, there has been an increase in construction accidents and worker injuries. In response to the boom, city regulators, construction companies, contractors, and the public is attempting to find the right balance between safety regulations to decrease the accident risk and not overly burdening construction in New York City.

Cranes have been the subject of much debate

The recent emergency regulation, then scale back, of the crane regulation in NYC is a microcosm of this overall debate on safety in the construction industry.

A recent article in Crain's New York featured a crane operator who had designed and built a lightweight mobile crane. While it was successful in its construction of a small hotel in midtown, and contractors were eager to use the cost-saving potential of the crane, the New York City Department of Buildings decided not to approve the design. Union crane operators opposed the design, citing safety concerns.

The 2016 collapse of a crane on Worth Street, which injured several and caused the death of a bystander, prompted increased regulation of crane use in NYC. An emergency order the city issued prevented cranes from being in use when the wind was greater than 20 mph. However, after contractors and crane operators pushed back, saying the regulation did little to increase safety and made it difficult to work, NYC removed the restriction. City regulators are still considering the appropriate regulations to issue for crane use in the city.

The right mix is hard to find

In New York City construction, there are myriad competing interests. Unfortunately, injured construction workers can be lost in the bargaining. Construction injuries can be devastating. In addition to living with a serious injury and facing mounting medical bills, an injured construction worker may no longer be able to work in his or her area of expertise.

Under New York law, however, injured construction workers may have legal options to get help with their medical bills and other costs associated with a construction accident. Injured construction workers should contact an experienced construction accident attorney to discuss their legal options.

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