A crane operating company based in Long Island City has been order by the city Department of Buildings to halt work at 21 construction sites claiming unsafe practice and following the death of a worker in April.
United Crane and Rigging has been deemed responsible for not only the fatal incident in Manhattan four months ago, there was also an accident on July 30 involving their equipment at a NYCHA facility. Now the DOB is telling United they have to pay up in fines and restore personnel who oversee safety.
Of the 21 sites where United Crane and Rigging is currently operating, one is located near Queens Plaza at 28-01 Jackson Ave.
When QNS reached out to the company, a representative simply said, “No comment.”
Ashraf Omran, the executive director of the DOB’s Cranes and Ladders Unit, issued a letter ordering the immediate Cease Use for the 21 job sites, claiming the company will need to replace engineering and supervisory staff approved by the agency before the order can be lifted along with regular reports filed.
The DOB said an investigation of the July 30 incident showed crane operators exceeding the capacity of their equipment by 7,000 pounds, leading to the boom falling apart.
“DOB’s investigation of the FDR Drive incident revealed that the crane’s operator lifted a load of steel beams that weighed more than 4,400 pounds, exceeding the crane’s permitted lifting capacity of 3,700 pounds,” a DOB statement read. “The total load weight caused the crane’s boom to bend and partially collapse. The collapse of the boom caused the operator to lose control of the load, which struck the roof and side of the building before falling to the ground. The load of steel was intended to be placed on top of the building to support future mechanical equipment.”
The DOB has issued five violations against the company totaling $110,000 each.
The construction worker killed April 13 was identified by PIX11 as Gregory Echevarria, 34, who was a father of four and a war veteran. Echevarria was working alongside his brother in a crew when a crane counterweight may have slipped and struck him.
There were slew of complaints lodged in the property records of the DOB for the Bleecker Street address in SoHo.