NYC to Review Construction Safety in Wake of Fatal Accidents

April 25, 2008

New York City officials have ordered a $4 million review of dangerous construction activities after more than a dozen deaths this year.

Less than a day after the announcement, a construction worker was seriously injured after falling from a scafffold at Lincoln Center.

Robert LiMandri, acting Department of Buildings commissioner since Patricia Lancaster resigned a day earlier, ordered about 20 engineering experts to analyze the pouring of concrete at high-rise construction sites, crane operations and excavations. The experts will inspect construction sites and recommend changes that the Department of Buildings would put into effect immediately, rather than wait for a report, LiMandri said.

Thirteen people have been killed in construction accidents this year, one more than the total for last year.

Last month, a crane collapse killed seven people. In January, a construction worker fell 40 stories to his death at a Donald Trump tower after the concrete framework he was helping to pour collapsed.

Lancaster, who even opponents credited for trying to reform an inefficient, corruption-riddled department in six years, told Mayor Michael Bloomberg she was resigning a day after he publicly singled out her agency as a problem.

Lancaster, an architect and real estate broker and the first woman to head the buildings department, had created a task force to examine concrete safety and scaffold safety and had ordered inspections of the city’s 30 tower cranes after the deadly collapse.

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