Stressing that "no building is worth a person's life," Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a plan Sunday for tighter citywide safety regulations on construction cranes. The Mayor's four-point plan comes two days after a 565-foot crawler crane toppled onto Worth Street in Tribeca, killing one and injuring three others.
In a statement, the Mayor's office declared that all crawler cranes must cease operation and go into safety mode when winds exceeding 20 MPH (or gusts exceeding 30 MPH) are forecasted. In such cases, construction crane engineers will be sent advisories by the Department of Buildings. Any crane site found to be in violation of these safety measures will be fined $10,000—double the previous amount.
Additionally, the NYPD, FDNY, DOB, and Department of Transportation will keep a closer watch on sidewalk and street closures in areas where cranes are being used. Plus, operators will be required to notify nearby businesses and residents whenever they plan to move a crane.
Last Friday, the de Blasio ordered that all of the city's 376 in-use crawler cranes be inspected before being used any further. "We are going to ensure the record boom in construction and growth does not come at the expense of safety,” the Mayor said in his statement.
Early forensic evidence points to a 40 MPH gust of wind as the primary cause of the Tribeca crane collapse. It's owner, Bay Crane, has been sued multiple times in the past over faulty equipment. The machine's operator, Kevin Reilly, had been attempting to lower the main arm to a safety position away from nearby buildings at the time of the accident, and was inside the crane's control cab as it was flipped upside down.