NYC Department of Buildings to Share Information About Tower Cranes With Other Cities to Prevent Crane Accidents

Last year, there were two fatal tower crane crashes in New York City, as well as dozens of others throughout the country, including Houston, Las Vegas and Miami. In an effort to track equipment failures, manufacturers recalls, accidents and industry trends, the New York City Buildings Department recently announced an unprecedented partnership with the cities of Chicago and Philadelphia to share critical data on tower cranes erected within their borders.

At present, there are more than 50 active tower cranes in New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia. Under the information-sharing agreement, building officials will share information about the design … Read the rest

Time Running Out on this Years No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program

Homeowners have until June 1, 2009 to call 3-1-1 to request an inspection of their retaining walls by a Buildings Inspector without penalty of violation under the New York City Department of Buildings’ annual No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program. Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri launched this years program on March 25, 2009. During the inspection, a Buildings Inspector will conduct visual examinations of retaining walls and record structural conditions such as bulging, displaced material, or leaning of the wall.

If repair is needed or violating conditions that are not immediately unsafe are found on walls, the Buildings Department will defer issuing … Read the rest

Ever Improving Safety Rules from the NYC Department of Buildings

The New York City Buildings Department and Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri recently announced a series of changes in the way high-risk construction will be regulated and carried out in New York City. These changes are based on 41 recommendations developed during the unprecedented $4 million study of crane, hoist, excavation, and concrete operations launched last year in response to an increase in construction accidents.

Crane & Hoist Operations
The recommendations related to crane operations and inspections are:

1. Tracking System for Critical Crane Parts. Establish procedures to track critical components of tower cranes, including but not limited to … Read the rest

Indictments in Fatal New York City Crane Collapse and Deutsche Bank Fire

On January 5, 2009, the master rigger involved in the 200-ft-high tower crane that collapsed at a Midtown high-rise site March 15, 2008, killing six workers and a civilian, was indicted on multiple charges of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault and reckless endangerment.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau also said rigger William Rapetti and his firm Rapetti Rigging Services Inc., Massapequa Park, N.Y., failed to file tax returns for 2006 and 2007. The following day, another contractor official at the troubled Deutsche Bank asbestos-abatement and demolition site near Ground Zero was indicted in connection with a 2007 fire at Read the rest

Rise In Construction Fatalities In New York City Prompts Aggressive Action by OSHA

Beginning June 23, 2008, OSHA brought a dozen additional inspectors into New York City to conduct proactive inspections of high-rise construction sites, cranes, and other places, where fatalities and serious accidents have been occurring.

In January through June of this year, 20 employees died in construction-related accidents. Perhaps the most notorious incidents involved the 2 crane collapses, one on March 10 and the other on May 30, in which not only employees were killed, but also non-workers who were in the wrong place at the wrong time were killed or injured, to say nothing about the extensive property damage sustained.… Read the rest