Tuesday, March 03, 2015

After worker death, DOB imposes partial stop-work orders regarding Barclays Center green roof; required revisions may come today

In the aftermath of the death of a ironworker working on the Barclays Center green roof Feb. 24--he was "crushed by a load of steel truss that fell off trailer while in the process of being delivered," according to the New York City Department of Buildings--the DOB imposed a stop-work order at the site, then amended it two days later, allowing work to resume "except no steel deliveries or erections allowed."

The partial suspension of work went unmentioned in the two-week Construction Update issued yesterday by Empire State Development after preparation by Greenland Forest City Partners.

Yesterday, the DOB issued a second partial stop-work order, indicating the need to "stop all hoisting operations" and to "provide revised rigging plan for frozen zone, loading/unlading areas."

Site issues

The Brooklyn Paper, which first reported on the suspended deliveries of steel, quoted Forest City spokesman Joe DePlasco yesterday: “We of course constantly review the site to make sure it complies with all safety requirements... The site is safe.”

The Brooklyn Paper noted that there is a federal investigation of the incident.

Note that the DOB web site also states that the Barclays Center site faces a "violation for failure to certify correction of Class 1 violation," with civil penalties due.

The web site does not indicate that the violation is related to the incident last week, and it isn't. It appears to be related to a contractor's failure to secure scaffolding.

What next?

DePlasco told me yesterday that "some of the work had already started, as the [Brooklyn Paper] piece said. The rest will resume at some point tomorrow."

That implies that the required revised rigging plan would come today.

I queried the DOB yesterday; spokesman Alex Schnell responded, "I cannot comment upon when the applicant will submit their amended plans, as that is the applicants responsibility. The partial stop work order in place now suspends hoisting operations."

(Note that the, under the DOB's terminology, as Schnell explained, "Resolved refers to action being taken on the complaint. It is resolved because the agency has taken action. The underlying conditions still need to be addressed before the PSWO [partial stop-work order] is lifted.")

About the incident

The Brooklyn Paper reported:
Peter Zepf, the 52-year-old worker, died when four steel beams rolled off of a truck as they were about to be attached to a crane, police said. Emergency responders arrived at the site at 1:33 pm and found him lying dead on the loading dock, according to a police report. Zepf was a member of the Ironworkers Local 361 union, and was working for a Massachusetts steel company contracted by Hunt Construction Group.
The federal agency in charge of work place safety is also performing an investigation into the incident, which could take several weeks, according to a spokesman. But that agency only issues fines, and cannot stop work.

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