In the wake of a deadly crane collapse that led to the death of David Wichs as well as injuring three other people, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a four-point plan to introduce new crane safety measures.
One of the new rules introduced by Mayor de Blasio has lowered the threshold at which crawler cranes must stop operating and be properly secured. Contractors must now stop operating cranes when meteorologists forecast steady winds of at least 20 miles per hour or gusts of at least 30 miles per hour or higher as well as when actual readings reach those levels. Previously, crawler cranes were allowed to operate until wind speeds reached 30 miles per hour or gusts reached 40 miles per hour.
“If there’s a forecast for these kind of wind levels the next workday we will require that the crane be put into the secure mode the day before,” Mayor de Blasio said.
Stiffer fines are also being introduced to those that fail to take appropriate precautions. The Department of Buildings will send advisories to construction sites – the penalty for failing to comply with the new safety measures will be increased from $4,800 to $10,000.
Other measures include a notification to be sent to people who live or work in an area when a crane is moved as well as an increase in enforcing street closures during crane activity in an effort to keep pedestrians away.
The city is also planning on creating a task force to look into the collapse that occurred last week and develop additional crane safety regulations as needed in an attempt to prevent any future crane related accidents.