[Photo on July 30 by @FDNY]
Officials at the Department of Buildings yesterday stopped all work citywide by United Crane and Rigging, the company reportedly responsible for the July 30 boom collapse at the Jacob Riis Houses, 749 FDR Drive and Sixth Street.
According to their report, the operator hoisted a load of steel beams that weighed 700 pounds more than the crane's permitted lifting capacity. The collapse forced the temporary evacuation of more than 100 families as well as the closure of the FDR.
United was also involved in a fatal accident this past April 13 at 570 Broome St., in which the counterweight of a crane fell to the ground and killed a worker.
Here's more from a news release via the DOB:
The agency’s order will remain in effect until the firm replaces the personnel who supervised the crane work at this and 21 other locations, and puts in place an independent monitor who will make monthly safety-compliance reports to DOB regarding United’s work.
DOB’s investigation of the FDR Drive incident revealed that the crane’s operator lifted a load of steel beams that weighed more than 4,400 pounds, exceeding the crane’s permitted lifting capacity of 3,700 pounds. The total load weight caused the crane’s boom to bend and partially collapse. The collapse of the boom caused the operator to lose control of the load, which struck the roof and side of the building before falling to the ground. The load of steel was intended to be placed on top of the building to support future mechanical equipment.
Accordingly, DOB issued five violations today to United that carry penalties of $110,000. The violations include failure to designate a qualified and competent Lift Director; failure to make proper notifications to DOB regarding the work that was being performed; inadequate safety measures on site; failure to safeguard the construction site to protect workers and the public; and failure to have proper construction documents on site.
Assemblymember Harvey Epstein reacted to this news...
Below is my statement on the closing of the DOB investigation on the crane collapse at Jacob Riis Houses. pic.twitter.com/QGcf3bbdoh— Harvey Epstein (@HarveyforNY) August 12, 2019
The city has been upgrading buildings in the Riis complex in recent months as part of the Sandy Recovery Program Restoration.
In a blistering open letter to incoming NYCHA director Greg Russ on Friday, local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera urged the agency to ramp up its oversight of contractors carrying out federally funded reconstruction work.
As she wrote, the crane collapse was "the latest in a string of failures for an agency with an entrenched culture of mismanagement, documentation of wasted resource and a seeming disregard for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who live in public housing."
[Click on image for more detail]
You can read more about the Rivera letter at the Post and Curbed.