Faulty Equipment to Blame for Tappan Zee Bridge Crane Collapse

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When a construction crane collapsed on the Tappan Zee Bridge last summer, investigators were tasked with determining if the cause of the accident was due to mechanical failure or operator error. Exactly six months later, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its findings, which show it was faulty equipment that caused the crane’s boom to fall across multiple lanes of traffic on the bridge.

The report from OSHA states that the teeth-like clamps on the crane’s vibrating hammer, used to drill pilings into the Hudson River, were corroded on one side. As a result, the pilings were released since the clamp could not hold its grasp. In addition, the hammer’s hydraulic hoses were found to be leaking. The combination of these issues led to the malfunction of the crane and the subsequent collapse onto the bridge.

OSHA issued the contractor, Tappan Zee Constructor, a serious violation and a file of almost $13,000. The company must also comply with a list of certain safety requirements. The citation states the contractor did not provide a worksite, “free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm…in that employees were exposed to being struck by a falling crane boom.” There was no mention in the citation of any operator error, unlike the crane collapse in lower Manhattan almost a year ago.

While thankfully no was injured in the collapse on the Tappan Zee Bridge, the carelessness and negligence on the part of the contractor left the door wide open for a very serious and possibly deadly accident. If you have been injured in a crane or construction accident, it can affect you for the rest of your life. Please call the skilled and experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to help secure the compensation you may be entitled to.