Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri and Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn announced the revocation of Paul Geer’s Class B Hoist Machine Operator license following a proceeding at the City’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings.
Geer was operating a mobile crane at 46-10 Center Boulevard in Queens when it collapsed on January 9, 2013, injuring seven workers at the construction site of a new high rise building.
The Buildings Department immediately suspended Geer’s Class B Hoist Machine Operator (HMO) license and commenced proceedings seeking to revoke the license.
Following a 26-page report and recommendation by Administrative Law Judge Tynia D. Richard, Commissioner LiMandri has revoked Geer’s license.
According to her report and recommendation, Judge Richard found Geer, who at the time of the collapse was employed by Cross Country Construction, a concrete subcontractor, violated several local and federal laws and failed to adhere to professional standards.
The judge found that prior to engaging in the lift, Geer failed to verify the weight of the load, as required.
The judge found that Geer failed to lift the load from the approved location on the crane installation plans. The judge found that he failed to post the proper approved crane load chart inside the crane in a location accessible to him while operating the crane.
Finally, the judge determined that Geer overloaded the crane by lifting a load that significantly exceeded the crane’s maximum weight capacity and was likely the primary cause of the crane’s collapse.
“The Buildings Department has zero tolerance for individuals that demonstrate negligence and disregard for the law on any construction site,” said LiMandri.
“In coordination with the Department of Investigation, we moved swiftly to suspend, and now revoke, Mr. Geer’s license and prohibit him from operating cranes in New York City. Mr. Geer’s actions put lives at risk and lead to the serious injury of seven construction workers. The Department is justified in revoking this license.”
Geer lifted a load consisting of 500 pieces of lumber for a total weight of 25,300 pounds – almost twice the crane’s approved maximum load of 13,600 pounds – and 85 percent above a safe working load for the crane.
New York City has some of the toughest crane regulations in the world and enforces crane regulations more stringently than anywhere else.
Since 2008, the Department of Buildings, with support from Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council, has implemented more than 25 construction safety laws and increased its oversight of crane operations across the City.
The Department has also implemented several new laws and requirements related to cranes .