Unknown if Windy Conditions Caused Accident
Two men, a 47-year-old and a 43-year-old, operated the crane at around 12:11 p.m. local time on 134th Street in Briarwood. The construction workers attempted to lift a 30-foot steel beam when it started to swing out of control and eventually fall from the crane.
The New York Daily News reports that the two construction workers died instantly when struck by the beam. Mayor Bill de Blasio says it is unknown whether the accident was due to a mechanical or human error.
The construction site is located at an existing six-story apartment complex, reports The New York Daily News. Two cranes were present at the site at the time of accident.
“Crane Shouldn’t Have Been Up”
The New York Daily News spoke with a man from the New York District Council of Carpenters who said he was amazed somebody was crazy enough to use a mobile crane on a windy day like today. According to the man, 90 percent of workers in his labor organization did not work on Tuesday due to the strong winds.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Cranes Express, the company that owned the crane involved in the fatal accident, in August 2015 for a previous work site incident.
New York’s Department of Buildings issued a wind advisory this past weekend, but it expired on Monday night.
On the Job Accident Statistics
The following information is provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- 4,821 workers died on the job in 2014.
- On average, more than 92 a week or more than 13 deaths every day.
- Worker deaths in America are down on average, from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 13 a day in 2014.
- Fatal work injuries involving contractors accounted for 17 percent of all fatal work injuries in 2014.
- One in five worker deaths in 2014 were in the construction industry.