The commissioner, Patricia Lancaster, ordered a sweep of cranes across the city, shortly after the fatal collapse on East 51st Street. Inspectors visited all 29 tower cranes operating in the city, and found that eight of them had unacceptable violations. Commissioner Lancaster said, “Our inspectors uncovered eight tower cranes with unacceptable violations. The Buildings Department shut down these cranes and required the individuals responsible to immediately address the violating conditions. Cranes that are found to have unsafe violating conditions will not be permitted to operate.”

The department reported that inspectors had spent an average of four hours on each inspection. Checks included a visual review of the crane’s structure to determine whether it was installed and secured to the building according to the approved engineering plans. Buildings inspectors visually inspected the cranes’ parts and tested the functionality of each structure, which included a review of boom, load, and swing functions. Buildings inspectors also tested the safety devices, such as audible and visual warning signals, anti-two block devices, and boom hoist safety shut-offs on the tower cranes to determine whether they were working properly.

Buildings inspectors issued stop work orders to eight tower cranes. Of the tower cranes that were shut down by the Department, two had administrative violations, such as not having the proper paperwork available on site at the time of inspection, and six had safety-related violations, including broken decelerators, missing pins, and conditions contrary to the engineered plans.

The inspectors have moved on to inspect mobile cranes at work in the city. They plan to look at 220 of these cranes, and aim to complete their work by the end of May. They have only visited five so far, but have already issued one stop work order and one violation.

On the same day the report came out, the commissioner appeared before the city council. The commissioner told the council that the building had been approved without being in accordance with zoning regulations. Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, who represents the area where the collapse happened, asked “You’re telling me this building should never have been approved in the first place?” Commissioner Lancaster admitted this.

After the hearing, Lappin condemned the decision to grant approval to the building, and to the tower crane that collapsed. The Department of Buildings sought to minimise the importance of the approval error, arguing that the errors in the approval process related to small mistakes about the dimensions of the building.