Crane Drain

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Louis Coletti, President of the Building Trade Employers' Association and Joel Shufro, Executive Director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety, talk about construction safety in light of the recent crane collapse and if we should expect more of the same during the current construction boom.


Louis Coletti and Joel Shufro

Comments [27]

Steve from New Haven CT

-Bolt and weld inspections are a inspection specialty and require specific training. In CT this is done all the time on steel skeletons by "special inspectors" who are licensed engineers. Bulding inspectors never do this but they require certification that others do.
-Not enough cranes? Hugh worlwide demand?.....Hmmm. Perhaps GM, and its in-house market force loving capitalists who are closing down truck factories can get in he crane business and make a few more jobs for Americans.
-Perhaps union contractors who are always complaining that they can't get enough people to do construction work can help the caller from Mexico finally get his green card and union card. HE ALREADY HAS A PRETTY GOOD NEW YORK ACCENT. SHOULDN'T THAT BE ENOUGH?
-Are there even enough union trade people to do all the construction work that takes place during a typical NYC "boom"? I always see lots of adds for "nursing schools" but never "construction schools". Do trades like to maintain some level of labor scarcity for economic reasons.

Jun. 03 2008 02:30 PM
Susan Rauch from chelsea

NYU tote bag, umbrella?

Jun. 03 2008 11:42 AM
BL Producer

BL Moderator Writes: Several comments have been removed for being uncivil and off-topic. Please remember the WNYC posting policy. Thanks!

Jun. 03 2008 10:54 AM
jj from nyc

Change the process that awards jobs to low bidding contractors. They underbid on jobs to get the work then have to cut corners to make any money.

Jun. 03 2008 10:44 AM
Seth from Astoria

Robert the only illness here is your ignorance. Just because I take offense to your lack of tact and humility, doesn't mean I am suffering from anything more.

Jun. 03 2008 10:40 AM
Seth from Astoria

Katie 21,

I agree whole heartedly with you and the need for a change in policy, or regime as some would put it.

I simply took the comment of inspectors not doing a good job because they aren't paid well enough to do a good job as bologna. A job is a job and if you sign on to do it, you damn well better do it to your full potential, no matter what you agree to for pay. (where I said get another job, they agreed to this pay, if they couldn't do a good job at what the were paid, they shouldn't have accepted it) Are they paid to little at $40,000 a year? I guess. But I think I'm paid to little for what I do, but I do above and beyond what my job description is. I now custodians here that don't get paid nearly enough, but they work so hard and do what they have to.

Thanks for challenging me though, it helped me explain my thought a little better (i hope)

Jun. 03 2008 10:34 AM
troels from east village

Did the guest say that New York only has had 2 crane accidents within the last ten years?

We had 2 crane accidents within the last 3 months and last year there was at least one crane accident on 3rd avenue.

Jun. 03 2008 10:30 AM
Laura from NYC

THANK YOU for this segment--please do more frequent segments on workplace safety and health, even if you just read news from NYCOSH's website:

We might even be able to save some lives.

Question: Did I understand correctly that Mayor Bloomberg hired more inspectors than ever, but they are not quite qualified enough to do an adequate inspection job?

Jun. 03 2008 10:28 AM
Katie from Forest Hills

#14 Seth,

How can you say if you don't like your pay, get a new job. The rich are breaking the backs of the working poor as they climb over them and working them twice as hard and paying them twice as less and here you come believing their lies to "just get another job."

Welcome to Reality, this is why things need to change in America. We need a Democrat in the White House and a Democrat majority in the Senate and Congress.

Jun. 03 2008 10:27 AM
mike from manhattan

Either you do a sufficient inspection or not. Clearly the mayors resolve after the last collapse was a dog and pony show.

Jun. 03 2008 10:27 AM
Milton from queens

As contractor working in NYC the new DOB inspectors are a joke. They need to train them better. I can have two different inspections on the same job and Inspector A will have a completely different result than Inspector B.
The new laws are hitting us little guys hard. Jobs are stopped and fines are issued because a jobs started months or even years ago don't meet the new code that isn't in place yet.
What about the big guys? Didn't one of the cranes collapse on a Bovis site? Same contractor that had the fire at the Deusch Bank Building downtown? Sciami, Turner what or what have you, multi million/billion dollar companies, they just get slaps on the wrist. And the hard working majority of the contractors in this city will get fined into Chapter 11. Just so the DOB can make more money.

Jun. 03 2008 10:26 AM
Charles Harris from Island Heights NJ

what would happen to cranes if a cyclone whipped through manhattan? Are crane parts imported or fabricated here? Is the construction of cranes monitored?

Jun. 03 2008 10:26 AM
Katie from Forest Hills

God Forbid we have unions! Look out, here come the liberals that will get things done and the conservatives will say we don't need liberals or unions, they are self-made!

Run for the hills folks!

Jun. 03 2008 10:25 AM
Charles Harris from Island Heights NJ

what would happen to cranes if a cyclone whipped though manhattan? Are parts imported?

Jun. 03 2008 10:23 AM
Eric from B'klyn

TY! I believe this is the first time the point that OHSA, not he NYC Dept of Buildings, has jurisdiction for WORKER safety. Why hasn't been made clear before? Surely Mr Bloomberg knows that OSHA is responsible for worker safety. And it does go back to Reagan. And critical federal oversight function: food inspection, drug testing and safety, air and water pollution, mine safety and on and on, are all underfunded and have been for decades.

Jun. 03 2008 10:23 AM
Seth from Astoria

Don't blame peoples incompetence on a low pay scale. That is BS. Saying they aren't going to do a good job because they don't get paid enough to do a good job is asinine. Especially when lives are at stake, but everyone has a responsibility to do their job to the fullest no matter what. Everyone, bartender to teacher to safety inspector, should work to their full potential no matter what, if you don't like your pay get a new job.

Jun. 03 2008 10:23 AM
Robert from Brooklyn

[[BL Moderator Writes: This comment removed for violating the WNYC posting policy. Please remain civil.]]

Jun. 03 2008 10:22 AM
hjs from 11211

Gregory 10
not fund, that's congress

Jun. 03 2008 10:21 AM
hjs from 11211

yesterday on The Leonard Lopate Show, the segment on cities the guest said crane collapse is unheard of in europe. is this true?
what about china?

Jun. 03 2008 10:20 AM
Gregory Cohen Frumin from Park Slope

In April the Senate committee on Labor held TWO hearings that discussed systemic problems with OSHA. YES, this IS a problem whose source is squarely located in the current administration, whose responsibility it is to fund, implement and enforce the OSHAct.

Jun. 03 2008 10:19 AM
Susan Parker from NYC

A suggestion: every building permit should require a FULL-TIME inspector, independent of the builder but with cost built into the permitting process, who must be on site throughout construction, with the power to shut down the site for any violations. The inspector should be involved in all phases of the project, including meetings where decisions are made. It is clear that Bloomberg has sold out the city to developers, with the safety of workers and the public sacrificed. Zoniong laws have been trashed, and the speed with which these buildings are thrown up bespeaks the poor quality that we can expect will have ramifications far past the construction phase.

Jun. 03 2008 10:18 AM
juliet from upper west side

As a member of AA, I have heard on numerous occasions sober construction workers in New York City talk about the difficulties of staying sober in such an alcohol and drug soaked environment. The construction industry seems to be rife with this problem.

Jun. 03 2008 10:18 AM
Alex from Park Slope

Some questions:

1. Just how corrupt is the Department of Buildings? In other words, how much does it cost to buy an OK from a building inspector?

2. Are fines severe enough to actually _deter_ builders from breaking the law?

3. Do the laws to protect people even exist (that is, is the law sufficient)?

4. It's all very well for your guest to say that New York has the finest workforce, BUT the fact is that there is nothing like this problem in Europe?

Jun. 03 2008 10:17 AM
Ned Stresen-Reuter from manhattan

Your caller is incorrect. There have been numerous crane accidents in the city in the last ten years, perhaps not collapses. But I Personally watched a cab get smashed by a crane that dropped a load on 3rd Ave and 14th St about 2 years ago. Your caller has completely has no credibility.

Jun. 03 2008 10:16 AM
Dan from Kearny, NJ

Who is ASSEMBLING these cranes? Are the workers QUALIFIED? Are they unqualified day-laborers? Are they illegals?

Should the equipment be inspected BEFORE it is erected? What is actually failing?

Jun. 03 2008 10:16 AM
hjs from 11211

yes, kevin & Richard want to keep their heads in the sand, please stop

Jun. 03 2008 10:15 AM
Jeanna from upper Manhattan

Clearly, the City should set a limit on the number of cranes that can be operated in the city at one time. The number should be determined by how many cranes can be thoroughly inspected by the number of inspectors available to do the job. But I suspect this measure won't be taken because of the incredible sway held by real estate interests in this town.

Jun. 03 2008 10:11 AM

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