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New York City to lighten crane loads

New York City is telling construction companies to lighten the loads lifted by tower cranes across Manhattan and the other boroughs following the World Trade Center crane accident last month, the Huffington Post reports.

Investigators are still trying to figure out why a TG-1900 tower crane dropped a load of steel beams 40 stories last month. The Feb. 16 incident left a truck crushed, but miraculously, no one was injured.

The Department of Buildings is asking contractors using similar tower cranes to restrict crane loads to 75 percent of capacity until it determines why last month's frightening mishap occurred.

A vice president of structural engineering for the contractor whose crane dropped the beams at 4 World Trade Center said, "All their loads have been reduced while they're under investigation."

She said the Department of Buildings sent her firm a letter informing them of the regulation, adding that contractors across the city who use the TG-1900 cranes are under the same restrictions.

The cranes have a capacity of up to 150 tons. Under the new rule, they're limited to 112.5 tons.

A vice president of corporate safety for the company told a Monday meeting of 4 World Trade residents of the new rule, and also said no one was hurt in the recent incident because construction workers were adhering to safety rules, keeping away from the 36-year-old crane as it hoisted the three steel beams.

The company has not revealed which part of the crane failed.

The Department of Buildings, the federal government's Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Port Authority are all investigating.

Source: Huffington Post: "WTC Accident Sparks Move For Lighter Cranes Throughout City," Julie Shapiro, March 13, 2012

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