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Crist at construction site: more inspections are good

Gov. Charlie Crist on Friday briefly toured the site of Tuesday's tower crane collapse in Miami, then endorsed legislation368talk29_crane_dade_jsp_embedded_2 pending in the Legislature that would regulate the training and certification of heavy crane operators.

''There is also legislation in Tallahassee,'' he told reporters in front of the construction site. ``It attempted to go through last year. It did not pass. But it looks like it has a much better opportunity [this year]. So I'm encouraged by that as well.''

Asked if he endorsed the pending crane bill, Crist replied: ``Yes, I do.''

He noted also that a Miami-Dade County ordinance went into effect Friday to regulate heavy cranes and added: ``Whenever you have more restrictions, more inspections that's always a good thing.''

The collapse Tuesday of a section of the tower crane killed two men and injured five.

-- ALFONSO CHARDY

Photo: JOSHUA PREZANT/FOR THE MIAMI HERALD
Charlie Crist talks to the media after touring the site of the crane accident that killed two workers and injured five at the Paramount Bay Luxury Condo that are being built on Friday.

Comments

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If he wants more inspections, then he needs to allow more stringent regulation by the County, and NOT preemption to the state.

The real problem is in failure to certify or train the crane operators. Right now the requirments in Florida to operate these tower cranes are less than the requirements to drive a car. This is ridiculous. The focus of the Tallahassee legislation is to - for the first time - make sure the operators of these cranes are trained and qualified. And at the same time to establish statewide standards for these cranes.

These are not buildings. They are pieces of construction equipment. As usual, Miami-Dade has over-reacted with regulations appropriate for permanent buildings, not for temporary cranes. The result is regulation that WOULD NOT HAVE PREVENTED THESE DEATHS. The problems here - just like in the recent New York tragedy - arose from the process of erecting the crane itself. The "preemption" regulations would have had no impact whatsoever other than to have made certain that the workers were certified and qualified.

B. Westbrook

Construction crane collapse accidents have become almost epidemic, and it's largely due to inadequate regulations and controls. These aren't "accidents" in the sense that they just happen. Rather, they are very likely to happen given the poor regulatory system. I've written articles on construction crane accidents which might shed some light on this growing problem to construction workers and to general public safety.

Crane Accident

Work accidents where a crane is involved are usually exceptionally serious. Cranes are used to manoeuvre heavy objects - most commonly in construction and on off-shore oil platforms - and should anything go wrong with their operation, anybody standing beneath a load that is dropped is likely to be crushed. Research has shown that 90% of accidents involving cranes are attributable to human error – where an employer has failed to adhere to health and safety regulations, not given the right instructions or has provided insufficient training to their staff.

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