Accident And Prevent Coursework : Crane Collapse At 303 East 51st Street York

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Accident & Prevent Coursework
Crane Collapse at 303 East 51st Street, New York
On the 15th March 2008 at 2.20pm in Uptown Manhattan, New York; a 76m high tower crane collapsed killing 6 construction employees and 1 civilian in a nearby apartment. The crane was being used in the construction of a 43 story building located at 303 East 51st Street and collapsed when employees were placing lateral support ties from the 18th floor of the building to the mast of the crane. The crane broke away from its anchors and toppled south causing extensive damage to adjacent buildings in addition to the 7 fatal casualties.
On the morning of the incident at 7.00am, the external self climbing tower crane was extended to the height of the 18th floor. At this
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• The rigging contractor responsible for jumping the crane, William Rapetti, chose to use only 4 slings instead of the manufacturers recommend 8. Additionally, one of the slings used was visibly deteriorated and should have been discarded.
• The crane driver positioned the collar contrary to manufacturers recommendations which forced the employees of the rigging contractor to tie the slings to the mast via vertical members rather than horizontal members. This forced the sling into a V-shape knot and furthermore no padding was provided between the sling and the mast.
• The V-shaped knot generated heat from friction between the sling and the sharper corners of the vertical members. This melted some of the fibres of the sling and reduced bearing capacity
• All 4 slings failed due over bearing, releasing the collar to freefall down the mast and causing collapse
The result from the investigation was a conviction against William Rapetti and his company who were announced on multiple charges of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault, and reckless endangerment (Eligon 2009). The inspector for the Department of Buildings was also arrested for filing a fake inspection report (NYC Buildings 2008).
The following Kletz Table, which should be read from the bottom up, details the events leading to the crane collapse and suggests recommendations for prevention or mitigation at 3 different levels:
1st Layer: immediate technical

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