Monday, May 12, 2008

Builders rip crackdown

BY STEPHANIE GASKELL
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Minor violations are shutting down construction sites and costing contractors millions of dollars as the Buildings Department cracks down on inspections in the wake of the deadly East Side crane collapse, a new report has found.

A top industry group says the city is paralyzed by fear after eight people were killed when a massive crane fell in Turtle Bay on March 15, according to Crain's New York Business.

"These inspectors are all afraid of losing their jobs," Louis Coletti of the Building Trades Employers' Association told Crain's.

In April, there were 1,403 stop-work orders on construction sites in the city - nearly double the 785 issued in January. Construction workers and site managers told the mag they were shut down for minor paperwork technicalities.

Acting Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri denied the city is going out of its way to slow down work sites.

"Some might argue that certain safety precautions aren't really necessary, but the law is very specific in the precautions that need to be taken," LiMandri told Crain's. "Development is very important to New York's future, but we are not going to compromise public safety."

LiMandri replaced Patricia Lancaster last month after a series of Buildings Department black eyes.

So far this year, 14 workers have died in eight separate accidents across the city.

3 comments:

Taxpayer said...

" "These inspectors are all afraid of losing their jobs," Louis Coletti of the Building Trades Employers' Association told Crain's."

Fear of losing their jobs? That's a good motivator.

A far better motivator would be the fear that one more person would die in a construction failure (an inspection failure).

But, since the deadly Commissar doesn't care who dies (he wants his money), the inspectors don't care either (they want their money, too!).

Anonymous said...

The DOB needs an overhaul of its inspection process, better oversight and more resources. But the irony is that the cause of the crane accident had nothing to do with any lack of inspection of that particular site. The rigging company screwed up while in the process of rigging the crane. No prior inspection would have stopped that.

Anonymous said...

There needs to be some balance. You done want to impede business in the city. I think there is an overaction to one extraordinary event this year (crane collapse). You take that out of the equation the # of accidents are the same as prior years. Yes that may be astonding, but keep in mind that contruction is a dangerous business. When building the empire state I think they lost dozens of lives. The coverage of this amounts to popcorn journalism. Remember the shark attacks of a few summers ago. The media had us in a frenzy thinking that shark has all gone crazy. Turn s out the number of shark attachks were the same as years past except the media chose to focus on it more. This is the more insidious form of bias in the media.