2016 Construction Accidents

As gruesome as the topic of death can be, you can’t deny it has its interests. Fortunately, the injury statistics of workers has been steadily dropping since 1996.

Despite the graph looking positive, there are some interesting anomalies. What happened in 2000/2001 for example? Even 2006/2007 spikes up slightly. It’s interesting is it not, that in a world dominated by technical advances and constant safety regulations being enforced, that we are still seeing an increase in work-related injuries?
With that in mind, here is a countdown of the most recent accidents in 2016.

Parking Lot Collapse in Tel Aviv
September 5th 2016

Only last month the ground floor of a multilevel parking garage collapsed killing two people and injuring 17 others.
The cause of the collapse is still under investigation. Police have even placed a gag order on details concerning the investigation to find out what caused the collapse. According to Haaretz (Israel News) a number of recent serious safety accidents had occurred in recent months under Danya Cebus – the company operating the site. Another accident three months prior to this one happened at the same site.

The Tappan Zee Crane Collapse
July 19th 2016

July saw the aging Tappan Zee’s replacement bridge meet the fury of a crane working on restoring it. The crane fell across the bridge, cutting off traffic from both sides. Though, the astounding fact was that absolutely no one was killed. This may sound somewhat cynical, but the size of the bridge and with how busy Tappan Zee generally is, this was nothing short of a miracle. The only reported injuries were minor, including three motorists and a construction worker.
The crane was one of 28 being used in the construction of the bridge’s £3.1 billion replacement. It is currently the largest project in the country.
Andrew Cuomo and other officials did not offer any conclusions as to why the crane collapsed, saying it could be equipment failure or operator failure. Cuomo did reveal that the crane that collapsed had been using a vibratory hammer to drive in pilings when “had an issue” that caused its boom to fall onto the existing bridge nearby.
The important fact to take away from this disaster was that no one seriously injured, let alone killed.

Guangdong Province Crane Crash
14th April 2016

Cranes seem to be the cause of quite a few construction-related problems. The crane had toppled onto a two story building made of shipping containers, killing 18 people. Reports state that 139 construction workers had been inside the building at the time of the collapse.
The cause of the crane’s collapse was due to excessively strong winds, reaching up to 100km/h (62mph).

The Collapse of the Kolkata Overpass

The overpass surrounds the crowded Ganesh Talkies neighbourhood. The project had been under construction since 2009, missing several deadlines for completion. As 2014 approached, the project was more than three years behind schedule, angering the residents of area who had endured constant construction work for over five years.
The collapse buried moving cars and pedestrians for several hours. the portion of the overpass that fell was more than 300 feet long, injuring 85 and killing 22.
Unfortunately, this was not the only overpass collapses in recent years. 2006 saw an overbridge in Bhagalpur fall into an express train, killing 37 passengers.
In 2009, scaffolding on a bridge under construction collapsed in Kota, killing 30 workers.
During 2014, three labours were killed when a portion of an overpass un construction collapsed in the Parle Point area of Surat.

Fatal Crane Crash in Lower Manhattan
February 6th 2016

The 565ft crane was being used to install generators and air-conditioners. Though, during a routine procedure, the train tipped over as its crew worked to secure it amid high winds. The collapse and the downpour of debris seriously injured three people and unfortunately killed one civilian.
The cause of the collapse was put down to wind speed.

Boiler Explosion at Bangladesh Factory
September 10th 2016

September saw an enormous explosion destroy large parts of a five-story building in Tongi, Bangladesh. The source of the explosion came from a cigarette packaging company outside Dhaka. The cause of explosion was unclear, though reports have confirmed a boiler caused the explosion. The explosion followed a series of industrial disasters over the last several years in Bangladesh.
The blast occurred in the early hours of the morning at the Tampaco Foils factory. By the following Saturday evening, firefighters were still struggling to contain the blaze. People were still trapped inside the burning building as firefighters fought to tackle the inferno.
Many people believed the initial explosion to be a plane crash. Rescue efforts continued despite the harsh, high winds stoking up the smoke. What made this disaster worse was that many chemical drums still lay inside, with the potential to catch fire at any time.

Falling Machinery Kills Worker
October 11th 2016

During October, a construction worker was killed by a falling piece of machinery at the Downton Brooklyn Hotel site. The worker – who was never publicly identified – was drilling piles at 61 Bond Street when a shackle snapped off, striking him in the head.
GFI (the company overseeing the project) were in the process of building a 13-story hotel when the accident occurred. The number of construction-related accidents in New York has been rising since 2012.

These accidents go to show that despite the incredible improvements in technology and construction, some accidents cannot be avoided. Some are the work of nature, some are mechanical faults and others are often a combination of the two. Hopefully as technology continues to improve, the safety measurements follow suit in order to prevent more of these accidents from happening.