Following a partial crane collapse at a site on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and a fatality in April on a jobsite in lower Manhattan, the New York City Dept. of Buildings announced on Aug. 12 that it is suspending United Crane & Rigging’s work on 21 construction sites across the city.
In a letter to United Crane & Rigging dated Aug. 12, DOB said that all work would be halted on jobsites with the company’s equipment until it replaced its engineer of record, master rigger, lift director and assembly and disassembly director. United Crane & Rigging declined to comment to ENR regarding the DOB letter.
NYC DOB cited two recent incidents in its letter to United Crane & Rigging. The most recent event, on July 30, took place at a residential high-rise development on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. A crane was transporting a load to the roof of a building when the boom partially collapsed. It is not clear if there was an issue with the rigging that caused the load to shift and pull down the boom, or if there was a fault with the equipment itself. The falling load caused some damage to buildings, but no injuries were reported.
This was not the first time a United Crane & Rigging job got on DOB's radar this year. In the early morning hours of April 13, a construction worker was killed on a jobsite in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood when 7.5-metric-ton counterweight segments for a Liebherr mobile crane came loose from their rigging during crane assembly procedures. 35-year-old Gregory Echevarria of Brooklyn was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police reports. Further details of the incident were not released.
In addition to replacing its crane safety staff, United Crane and Rigging will also be required to submit a job-hazard analysis plan to NYC DOB outlining the risks associated with overloading equipment, and will have to conduct a full audit of its rigging crews' qualifications and training levels. Once United Crane and Rigging meets these requirements, it will be placed under monitoring by NYC DOB for six months, submitting regular reports on safety procedures.
[Update 8-16-19] The text of the article has been updated to reflect new information.