A Well-Constructed Safety Program Can Avoid Hefty Lawsuits

Professionals in the building industry were reminded recently that the wheels of justice may turn slowly–but when they do, they can end up costing a fortune. News ripped from recent headlines underscores the need for construction insurance in New York. A multimillion-dollar verdict was awarded to the families of two men who were killed in a horrific accident in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, involving a crane collapse in 2008. While one man fell to his death when parts of the 200-foot-tall crane broke off the main structure, the other was crushed when the broken pieces landed on him.

While no amount of money can bring the men back or end the suffering of the families who loved them, the victims’ families were awarded nearly $48 million in the lawsuit which named the crane owner as responsible for the accident because he allowed inferior repairs to be made to the equipment. Although the man was acquitted of manslaughter and other criminal charges, he and his company were ordered by the jury to pay a staggering $47.8 million to the families of the victims. Without a solid, comprehensive approach that provided coverage for liability on the grand scale, most firms would find themselves out of business for good, or at the very least, mired in debt, in the event they suffered such a loss.

With tragedies like this one and another that occurred just two months earlier which killed seven people, the safety of overhead cranes and hoists was forced into the spotlight, and many new regulations have been the result. These mechanical behemoths are relied on to move heavy, bulky, oversized materials and objects that traditional handling methods are unable to move. They operate on a railed support structure called a bridge, with a trolley on wheels that rolls horizontally back and forth across the bridge. There are a number of different types of this structure, including gantry and semi-gantry; cantilever gantry; storage bridge; and wall cranes.

No matter which type your business operates, it is essential to the well-being of your organization that you work with a professional insurance agent with expertise in this industry to create a well-built construction insurance program in New York. An experienced agent can offer advice about your safety program as well, including the OSHA requirements that regulate overhead crane safety. Talk to an agent today.