Effective Monday, New York mayor Bill de Blasio has implemented a four-point construction crane safety plan as a result of Friday's incident. The plan includes placing new restrictions on crawler cranes during windy conditions, doubling fines for equipment operators who don't follow safeguards, increasing attention to pedestrian safety near crane sites, and better notifying buildings located near cranes.
The new rules require crawler cranes to stop operating and go into safety mode when:
- There is a forecast for steady wind speeds of 20 miles per hour or higher or gusts of at least 30 m.p.h.
- When actual readings reach those levels.
Previously, cranes could operate until measured wind speeds reached 30 m.p.h. or gusts increased to 40 miles-per-hour.
"If at the end of one workday there is a forecast for these kinds of wind levels the next workday, we will require that the crane be put into secure mode the day before,” Mr. de Blasio said. The fine for failing to take appropriate precautions would be increased to $10,000 from $4,800.
The new safety procedures also require operators to notify nearby businesses and residents before the crane is moved for any reason. Police officers will now help enforce sidewalk and street closures when cranes are in use. City officials say the new rules are temporary and will be in force until a task force deliberates on long-term policies.
NYC has been criticized for its slow response to recommendations from a study commissioned to improve work site safety. Shortly after Friday's crane collapse, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer released an audit that found the Department of Buildings has adopted very few of the recommendations submitted.
The crane in last Friday's accident was reportedly owned by Bay Crane and operated by Galasso Trucking and Rigging. It had been inspected by the Department of Buildings the day prior to the collapse.
Source: New York Times; AP