New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday unveiled a series of new policies governing the use of construction booms in the United States’ largest city, after a deadly crane collapse in Manhattan highlighted the need for additional safety measures.
A massive “crawler” crane being used to lift equipment into a building in the Tribeca neighborhood toppled over on Friday during a swirling snowstorm, killing a man who worked in the neighborhood, injuring three others and crushing a line of cars parked in the street. Investigators are looking into the cause of the accident.
“No building is worth a person’s life. We are going to ensure the record boom in construction and growth does not come at the expense of safety,” de Blasio said in a statement announcing four policies aimed at improving safety.
The city will now require contractors to stop operating “crawlers” whenever meteorologists forecast steady winds of higher than 20 miles per hour (32 km per hour) and gusts of more than 30 miles mph (48 kph). More than 300 non-stationary crawler cranes were operating in the city last week, the mayor said.
Officials said it was unclear whether high winds played a role in the accident during Friday’s morning rush, when the moderate snowstorm was moving across the city. The mayor would not rule out the weather, the equipment or any other factor as the cause, and said it would not be fair of him to speculate.
De Blasio said the city would also step up efforts to protect pedestrians in areas where cranes are operating and to notify residents and businesses in the vicinity of an operating crane.