New York General Contractors, City Considering Ways to Increase Crane Safety

New York–Some of New York’s largest general contractors are contemplating hiring external inspectors to increase tower crane safety as a result of last Friday’s fatal construction site crane collapse, the New York Times reported Wednesday.The city uses about two dozen tower cranes, and the current Department of Buildings inspections–as well as separate inspections by crane owners and operators–aren’t enough to fully protect the sites, according to contractors. Investigators think that the crane that plummeted into a 23-story building on East 91st Street last week wasn’t welded correctly during a repair. Two construction workers died; the Manhattan district attorney’s office is conducting a criminal investigation of the accident.Crane owner New York Crane and Equipment’s insurance company said that the weld was inspected before the crane was put into use again in April, the Times said. City inspectors also inspected and approved it.The Building Trades Employers’ Association–which represents unionized contractors–met Monday with some of the city’s biggest construction companies to consider ways to improve using and securing cranes.New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Tuesday that the Buildings Department also was reconsidering its procedures for monitoring cranes.