Speaker Christine C. Quinn:
“Last night, a construction worker was killed and four others were injured after a crane collapsed on the West Side of Manhattan. Our prayers are with the friends and families of the deceased and injured. What caused the crane to collapse is still under investigation, however, this terrible incident highlights the need for better coordination between the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the City of New York on large-scale construction projects being built in our boroughs.
State regulations currently preclude the City from having oversight over at MTA construction sites, making it impossible to ensure safety regulations are upheld to the highest standards. That is wrong. The State must follow New York City safety regulations when working in our City.
After a series of tragic accidents in 2008, the Council worked to overhaul our construction safety laws. Those laws must apply everywhere in New York City, including MTA and other State owned property.
If we had this agreement and authority, the MTA would have been required to submit an engineer’s report prior to using the crane. This report would have included safety related information such as:
• what the crane would be used for
• where on the site the crane would work
• how the crane would be secured
• how the crane would be inspected and maintained
We would also have had access to the construction site. This would have better allowed us to monitor conditions. In fact, City officials who were invited onto the site after the incident found conditions that would have qualified as violations.
Making these sites meet the safety standards that every private and City construction site has will make these jobs safer for workers who are trying to get home every night and for the public.
We need the MTA and other state agencies to give us oversight authority at construction sites.
The MTA should follow the Port Authority’s lead and enter a Memorandum of Understanding with the City, granting us such authority. This must happen immediately- as last night shows, lives are at stake.”
Housing and Buildings Committee Chair Erik Martin Dilan:
“The MTA must follow the lead of the Port Authority and work with the City to make sure they abide by the stringent regulations put in place by the Council to ensure safety at construction sites. Last night’s incident was a terrible tragedy, and my deepest sympathies go out to the victims and their families during this difficult time.”