Work to Resume at NYC Tower After Falling-Steel Mishap

June 6, 2008

New York City is letting interior construction resume at Goldman Sachs’ new headquarters, where a hunk of steel plunged 18 stories onto a ball field during Little League games last month.

Although no one was hurt, the May 17 mishap in lower Manhattan was one of several recent accidents that have fueled concern about construction safety citywide.

The builder, Tishman Construction Corp., has hired an independent safety monitor and taken other steps to improve safety since the May 17 accident, the city Department of Buildings said Tuesday while partially lifting a stop-work order on the project.

The agency halted all construction on the 43-story tower after the 30-inch-square sheet of steel slashed into the field, rattling the young players and their parents. The plate was being used as a bridge between an outdoor construction elevator and the building.

Now, Tishman can resume interior work on the skyscraper’s lower 13 floors, which are completely enclosed, the Buildings Department said.

Tishman will have to do more _ such as tailor safety procedures for varying levels of wind _ to get the stop-work order lifted completely, Buildings Department spokeswoman Kate Lindquist said.

Tishman expects its new safety measures will prevent any similar accidents in future, spokesman Richard Kielar said. The builder also has stopped all weekend work for the rest of the Little League season.

Goldman Sachs is working with Tishman to make sure the new safety plans are implemented, spokeswoman Andrea Raphael said.

The steel plate plummeted five months after a crane at the same site dropped seven tons of steel and seriously injured an architect in a trailer below.

Recent construction accidents have sparked anxieties about whether the city’s building boom is shortchanging safety. More than two dozen construction workers have been killed on the job in the past year.

City officials have said they are adding more inspectors and introducing other new safety efforts.

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