Over 100 firefighters rushed to the scene after a massive crane collapsed shortly before 8:30am on the island of Manhattan. A 38 year old man died in the accident and dozens more injured. Bay Crane owned the construction crane and it was operated by Galasso Trucking and Rigging at the time of the accident. The crane was raised to 20 stories when it collapsed, spanning several city blocks. An inspector with the Department of Buildings had been on the site Thursday because workers were extending the crane — which has a boom length of 565 feet, the mayor told reporters. The crane was in the process of being secure when it collapsed.
Crane Installation Requirements
Prior to its use, individuals who install tower cranes must verify whether the crane was erected per the manufacturer’s specifications or those of a certified professional engineer. The installer must then make adjustments to the overload prevention system as required to line up with the recommendations per the load chart for that particular crane. With the exception of a self-erecting tower crane, after the repositioning of the mast, a certified enginner must verify any parts of the crane affected by this adjustment are properly installed and any necessary reshoring or bracing of supporting structures has been completed.
An anemometer is a device used to measure wind speed, and one must be mounted to the operator cab of each tower crane. The operator needs to be able to read the anemometer while in the cab, and tower crane operations must stop when a load cannot be handled safely because of wind. In the absence of the manufacturer’s specifications for maximum permitted wind speed during crane operation, the maximum allowable wind speed in which a tower crane may be used is 50 km/h (30 mph). A tower crane must not be erected, operated or dismantled when the wind speed exceeds the upper limit specified by the crane manufacturer for erection, operation or dismantling of the crane.
Mayor Bill De Blasio stated the work crewe were holding people and traffic back from the work area while the crane was in operation. This procedure likely kept the number of injuries lower. “No work was done this morning because the crew made the decision to bring the crane down to the secure position,” the mayor said. The horrible accident could have been even more tragic, he added. “The crew was directing people away from Worth St. as the crane was being lowered,” the mayor said. “Just before the accident happened, the crew was making sure people weren’t in the way,” he said.
The Importance of Safety Inspections
This type of accident further emphasizes the importance of completing safety inspections, particularly in dangerous industries like construction. With the use of heavy equipment, including tower cranes that must lift massive amounts of weight to high altitudes, it is essential to ensure the safety of all employees who may be in or around the area at the time of operation. In a busy location, such as Manhattan, these processes are even more critical to protect passers-by on the street below. However, despite all efforts to complete safety inspections, as well as to follow protocol when setting up and operating these cranes, accidents do still happen and it’s necessary to make sure all construction workers are trained in how to handle these emergencies to minimize injuries and casualties.
Count on Experienced Inspectors
While your construction team is capable of operating the machinery, it’s important to make sure you properly inspect a tower crane before you use it. Not only should it be inspected, but it should be done by an experienced team of professionals to reduce the risks of an accident. While some accidents can’t be prevented, lowering the risks will help everyone feel more confident. Professionals have the experience necessary to identify even minor issues that can become a major problem. Significant issues are often easy to spot, but it’s the small things that can create a disaster such as the massive crane collapse in Manhattan.