Why Cranes Keep Falling

In the wake of New York City’s latest disaster, crane safety experts weigh in on leading causes of crane collapses.

On February 5, a windy day in Lower Manhattan, a 565-foot crane collapsed and killed a man when it struck the parked car in which he sat. Crews had been planning to secure the Worth Steet crane because the forecast projected sustained winds at stronger than 25 mph, but they were too late.

After the collapse, Mayor Bill de Blasio required crawler cranes, the mobile type of crane that can move around a work site, to cease operation and transition to safety mode anytime there are sustained winds of more than 20 mph or gusts of more than 30 mph forecast in New York City. “No building is worth a person’s life,” de Blasio says. “We are going to ensure the record boom in construction and growth does not come at the expense of safety.”

The fact is, though, that deadly crane crashes are far too common. Some of the largest crane collapses on record have the most devastating effects in big cities, such as a 2008 New York accident that killed seven people and destroyed buildings when a 200-foot-tall crane collapsed. Such events highlight the awesome and scary power of cranes, especially in dense urban areas where these ever-growing machines (record-holders now stand more than 300 feet tall, telescoping to more than 500 feet) work right next to pedestrians and drivers. It’s a recipe for danger if crews aren’t exceedingly careful.

So why does this keep happening?

(Taken from popularmechanics.com – Read the full article)