Crane Industry Weighs in Following Recent NYC Crane Collapse

The general media reached out to the crane industry for insight and answers following a crane collapse last week in New York City that left two construction workers dead and a third worker seriously injured. The collapse of the Kodiak luffing tower crane has once again aimed the national spotlight at the topic of safety in the crane industry.

Guy Ramsey, publisher of Lift and Access and Crane Hot Line magazines, was in New York at the time of the accident and was interviewed on the “Today Show” over the weekend. In the interview, he emphasized that the recent crane collapses aren't a pattern and that cranes aren't inherently dangerous, but said that crane inspectors do need to be certified and qualified to inspect. Click here to watch the “Today Show” segment, which also featured an interview with Tudor Van Hampton, an editor with McGraw-Hill Construction publication, Engineering News-Record.

In The New York Times, Ramsey also discussed the possibility of a bad weld as the cause of the accident. Click here for that article (login required).

Jeff York, president of Signal-Rite, an independent crane inspection company, was also interviewed on CNBC. He said the issue is that there are not enough qualified people to inspect the work independently. York said inspectors should be independent and unbiased to properly inspect a crane. Click here to view that story.

Graham Brent, executive director of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), was also interviewed on CNBC Friday. Click here to view that clip.

Brad Closson, vice president of the North American Crane Bureau discussed the ramifications of crane accidents and how they relate to productivity after the accident itself. That article can be found here.

In a letter to the editor, Robert Renzi, director of safety and training for the LJ Companies, Cranston, R.I., said that better trained and qualified technicians need to be doing crane inspections. Renzi said that although these accidents have given the industry a “black eye,” it points out the need for more qualified inspections. Renzi also wrote that allowing more time for erection, jumping and breakdown of tower cranes would lead to safer jobsites.