Crane Operator Involved in 2016 TriBeCa Collapse Has License Permanently Revoked

View of Worth Street from New York Law School. Image credit: CityLand

After judge finds operator at fault of fatal collapse, agency revokes license. On May 2, 2018, the Department of Buildings announced it permanently revoked the Hoist machine Operator license of crane operator Kevin J. Reilly. Reilly was involved in the fatal crane collapse in February 2016 on Worth Street in TriBeCa adjacent to New York Law School. Reilly’s license was suspended in December 2016 and DOB filed an action to permanent revocation. CityLand previously covered the crane collapse here and here.

Last month, an administrative law judge recommended Reilly’s license be revoked. The administrative law judge, as well as DOB’s investigation, found that Reilly failed to secure the crane the night before the accident in anticipation of a weather-forecasted wind event and per applicable rules and regulations. Reilly attempted to lower the crane the next morning during the wind event, but the crane collapsed resulting in one fatality and damage to property. The administrative law judge found that had Reilly laid the crane down the night before the wind event, the fatality and damages would not have occurred. Following this determination, DOB Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, P.E. issued a revocation of Reilly’s Hoist Machine Operator’s license.

DOB Commissioner Chandler said, “Public safety requires that we hold crane operators to the highest standards. We conducted a painstaking investigation of the TriBeCa collapse, both to hold accountable those responsible and to learn from this tragedy to improve crane safety. I thank the investigators from DOB, the NYC Department of Investigation, and the federal government for their work on this case, and I’m grateful to our partners in the City Council, with whom we worked on a package of legislation to strengthen the city’s crane regulations, which were already the toughest in the nation.”

DOB implemented new crane regulations after the TriBeCa crane collapse. The new regulations included banning crawler crane configurations that must lower their booms to the ground in winds of 20 miles per hour or less; a 25-year age limit on all cranes operating; mandating a lift director to be present during operation of large cranes; mandating an assembly/disassembly director when erecting or putting away cranes, mandating site-specific wind actions plans for crawler and mobile cranes; requiring anemometers; strict reporting requirements including daily logs for crane and derrick operations to be maintained at each jobsite; more stringent licensing requirements for operators of large cranes; and new location reporting requirements for mobile cranes.


By: Dorichel Rodriguez (Dorichel is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2017.)

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