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NYC Shuts Down Crane Work At 22 Sites Over Safety Concerns


The city has ordered crane work to stop at 22 New York City construction sites after two accidents — including one in which a worker was crushed to death — happened at cranes run by the same company.

United Crane and Rigging has been told to cease all work until it replaces the workers who oversaw the most recent incident in July, The Real Deal reports.

The Long Island City-based company — which is doing work at Tishman Speyer’s Long Island City office tower known as the JACX and Cammeby’s International’s Coney Island development — has been hit with five violations from the Department of Buildings, including having inadequate safety measures on site. It is facing fines of up to $110K.

The first incident took place in April, when a construction worker died after being crushed by a crane part at United’s site at 570 Broome St. near the Holland Tunnel, the New York Daily News reported at the time. Another worker was hurt during the incident.

Then, two weeks ago, a crane operator at 749 FDR Drive lost control of the machine after lifting a load beyond its capacity, according to the Department of Buildings. The crane bent after lifting a load 700 pounds over capacity, per TRD, and it hit the side of the building before hitting the ground.

The DOB has told United it needs to prove it has removed its engineer of record, master rigger, lift director and others. It also needs to appoint an independent monitor to report to DOB with safety-compliance reports every month. TRD didn't name the employees, and United declined to comment.

It is unclear how long the 22 projects will be delayed, or how the delays might affect construction timelines or budgets.

The city passed a bill in 2017 requiring workers to receive a minimum of 40 hours of safety training after a spike in deaths at the time. Construction fatalities are on the rise again — two more workers died on other sites the same week as United's April incident, and at least two other construction workers have died on the job since.