On Monday, the New York City Buildings Department halted all crane work citywide by United Crane and Rigging (“United”), the firm that DOB has identified as responsible for a crane accident on July 30th at a NYCHA building at 749 FDR Drive.
The agency’s order will remain in effect until the firm replaces the personnel who supervised the crane work at this and 21 other locations, and puts in place an independent monitor who will make monthly safety-compliance reports to DOB regarding United’s work. United was also involved in a fatal accident on April 13, 2019 at 570 Broome Street, in which the counterweight of a crane that was being assembled under United’s supervision fell to the ground and killed a worker.
DOB’s investigation of the FDR Drive incident revealed that the crane’s operator lifted a load of steel beams that weighed more than 4,400 pounds, exceeding the crane’s permitted lifting capacity of 3,700 pounds. The total load weight caused the crane’s boom to bend and partially collapse. The collapse of the boom caused the operator to lose control of the load, which struck the roof and side of the building before falling to the ground. The load of steel was intended to be placed on top of the building to support future mechanical equipment.
Accordingly, DOB issued five violations to United for $110,000. The violations include failure to designate a qualified and competent Lift Director; failure to make proper notifications to DOB regarding the work that was being performed; inadequate safety measures on site; failure to safeguard the construction site to protect workers and the public; and failure to have proper construction documents on site.
The 570 Broome Street accident remains under investigation by DOB and partner agencies.