Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Crane Safety, Developers Over People 342

Construction Safety After the Crane Collapse Another Example of Leading From Behind
De Blasio announces crackdown on construction safety (NYP) Amid a surge of construction injuries, Mayor de Blasio on Friday announced that the city will more than quadruple penalties for safety lapses and conduct 1,500 sweeps at work sites. Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler insisted that more accidents are not an inevitable result of the city construction boom. “Our investigations routinely reveal that accidents could have been prevented if contractors simply followed existing safety rules,” he said. “We’re determined to change the mind-set that safety violations are simply the cost of doing business.” Construction-site injuries to workers and pedestrians jumped from 246 in 2014 to 471 in 2015, a 91 percent increase. The number of deaths also increased from eight to 11, records show. According to the city, the number of building projects have increased by 329 percent since the economic downturn in 2009. The sweeping changes come ­after a crane collapsed last week on Worth Street in Lower Manhattan, killing pedestrian David Wichs, 38, and injuring three others. *  Mayor de Blasio raises fines for construction violations (NYDN)

 David Wichs is Dead Because NYC's Elected Officials Do the Bidding of the Real Estate Industry 
Widow grieves for husband killed by fallen crane at funeral (NYP) * At Funeral for Victim of Crane Collapse, Recounting a Life, and a Love Story (NYT) David Wichs, the victim of a crane collapse in Lower Manhattan, was eulogized on Sunday by his widow and others * De Blasio announces new safety measures after crane collapse (NYP) * It’s not just cranes: The overlooked surge in construction site deaths (NYP) Mayor de Blasio has squandered his first two years in office on an insane quest to ban horses, because his donors wanted him to. Meanwhile, he’s coddled another special interest: the hugely powerful construction industry.Obsequious pandering has a real price. Last Friday, a crane crushed 38-year-old David Wichs on a lower Manhattan street. Yet the mayor spent his emergency press conference minimizing the risks that an out-of-control building industry poses to the city he’s supposed to serve. The first part of de Blasio’s statement, just like his lies about horse-carriage safety, isn’t true. The same company fell last year, injuring 10 people. In 2012, a crane fell off Extell’s luxury 57th Street tower, forcing people from their homes after Hurricane Sandy. The second part of the statement makes no sense.  De Blasio added: “We’ve had some real serious issues on construction sites. But that is different from what we’ve seen here.” Actually, the issues “we’ve seen” — 18 people dying in the past year on construction sites, a 50 percent increase — are similar to what caused past crane collapses: incompetence and negligence.Hours before Friday’s collapse, worker Konstantinos Potamousis died in East Harlem in a perfectly preventable fall. Last year, unsecured wood killed a pedestrian. Contractors are incompetent and negligent because they can get away with it. Even when people die, firms pay five-figure fines — and go on their way. Crane owners kill, and they keep raising and lowering cranes.* De Blasio announces new crane safety measures followingcollapse (and amid a building boom)  (NYT) * After a crane collapse killed a 38-year-old man, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city would lower the wind-speed threshold at which such equipment must be shut down, the Times reports:   * The New York County Democratic Committee has moved to have Alice Cancel run on its line in the special election to succeed Sheldon Silver, but another candidate, Yuh-Line Niou, called the process undemocratic, The WallStreet Journal reports: * Nicole Gelinas writes in the Post that de Blasio has “coddled” the construction industry, where contractors are incompetent and negligent because they can be, with the mayor inaccurately describing last week’s fatal crane collapse as the first such incident since 2008:

In de Blasio's NY Its Real Estate and Their Lobbyists Over the Lives of New YorkersUntil He Gets Caught Then Spin City I Will Fix Historically 
Crane company had at least two other serious accidents in last year (NYP) Bay Crane, the company whose massive rig fatally collapsed in Tribeca Friday, had at least two serious accidents last year — and victims of those mishaps say this latest calamity has left them even more rattled. “It’s the same crane company?” Gregory Welch of Elmont, LI, said when The Post phoned him with the news. “I hadn’t realized!”  He and his wife, Priscilla, are suing the Queens-based company over an accident last May in which a crane dropped a massive heating and air-conditioning unit atop a building in Midtown. The fall sent debris crashing onto the couple’s SUV as they drove on Madison Avenue, says their lawyer, Jay Tanenbaum. The Hicksville, LI, company has faced at least eight accident lawsuits in the last five years, including one from 2014 in which a worker in Tribeca slipped on a greasy boom. Reps of both companies did not return requests for comment.* 'HE WAS AN ANGEL' Routine morning commute turns tragic for 38-year old math genius computer trader, who was crushed to death by fallen crane in Tribeca (NYDN) * TriBeCa #Crane collapse thatkills one, equipment owner linked to other accidents  CrainsNY * City's DOB spokesman says cranes will be allowed to go backto work today after yesterday's #cranecollapse

The crane is owned by New York Crane, whose owner, James Lomma, was acquitted of criminally negligent homicide charges stemming from the 2008 crane collapse on the Upper East Side that killed two construction workers.
Run for your Lives! (NYP) Workers scrambled for their lives yesterday as a crane collapsed and injured seven laborers at a luxury-housing development behind the “Pepsi-Cola” sign on the Queens waterfront. * Crane Collapse in Queens Injures 9 (WSJ) * Seven Injured In Queens Crane Collapse(NY1) * Crane collapses on construction workers in Queens(NYDN)

Update City Suspends Operator’s License After Crane Accident in Queens (NYT)

* City Councilman Ben Kallos re-introduced a bill that would effectively allow New York City contractors to only hire Class A and B crane operators through the local union, thereby blocking a controversial Bloomberg plan to open the market to competition from out-of-state crane operators, Crain’s reports: http://goo.gl/FmU2Zm 

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