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NYC crane collapse prompts new safety measures

After a recent crane collapse that claimed the life of one man, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced earlier this week a series of new safety policies designed to prevent similar accidents in the future.

According to a report by Reuters News, these new safety measures can be broken down into four distinct parts, including:

  • Crawler crane restrictions: When the forecast predicts steady winds that exceed 20 mph (or gusts that exceed 30 mph), all crawler cranes must cease operation and go into safety mode.
  • Sidewalk protection for pedestrians: When cranes are being operated, the new measures require increased efforts to keep pedestrians off the nearby streets and sidewalks.
  • Notification for residents and businesses: When cranes are being moved, the new safety policies require operators to notify all of those who live and work in the area. Previously, residents were only notified when the crane was first installed.
  • Crane safety task force: The City will form a task force to review/analyze this recent accident and develop further policies/recommendations to improve crane safety.

Reasons for the new policies

These new safety measures come in response to a crane collapse that occurred on February 5 in the Tribeca neighborhood - a collapse that killed one Wall Street worker, severely injured three other individuals and crushed a line of cars.

While investigators are still looking into the accident, it did occur during a windy snowstorm. However, it is still unclear if high winds or equipment failure contributed to the accident, with officials saying it is still too early to speculate or rule anything out.

It is worth noting that this accident comes at a time when the city is already being criticized for its slow response to implement previous recommendations made in a study commissioned to examine worker safety at construction sites. Hopefully the new safety measures implemented this week are the first of many steps to reducing construction-related accidents in New York.

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