NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- David Perecman, founding attorney of The Perecman Firm, was interviewed on MetroFocus PBS to discuss the Worth Street Crane Collapse. The crane, which collapsed last Friday, was in the process of being lowered due to high winds.
In response, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced tighter industry regulations just days later. One of the main provisions of the new regulations is the reduced wind-speed threshold for operating cranes. Prior to Friday's collapse, regulations required crews to go into safety mode when winds reached 30mph or gusts of 40mph. Now, safety mode is initiated at speeds of 20mph or gusts of 30mph.
"I think at the end of the day what it really comes down to is planning," Perecman said when asked whether sometimes accidents happen despite best efforts to prevent them, or if they happen because New York City has not been giving its best efforts to protect.
"The new regulations address not only taking a crane down when the winds reach 20mph or 30mph gusts, but when there are forecasts. What if [this crane] had been brought down the day before because they knew that wind was coming? This accident probably would not have happened, so there is a question of whether we are doing enough."
Perecman also spoke about the balancing act that regulators are so often trying to achieve between letting contractors and developers do their job and keeping people safe. Had these 20mph/30mph wind regulations existed in 2015, crawler cranes would have been out of commission 40 days of the year. Under the old regulations, they were only shut down seven days out of the year for high winds.
"There's a give-and-take when these regulations are passed," said Perecman. "The give-and-take was before 30mph/40mph gusts, but now, in a reactive way now that something happened at lower wind speeds, they're talking about lower wind speeds."
SOURCE The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C.