The New York Times reported that a crane tipped and hit a building in New York City.

According to the story. Christopher Cosban, the top level crane operator at the site, left the site for the day without lowering the 250 ft boom as far as it could go.

The investigators said that his mistake – not lowering the boom – contributed to the accident. (But might not have been the “sole” cause.)

What action did they take? City officials suspended his license.

Now for the question …

Should we discipline people before we complete an investigation?

In this case the article seemed pretty clear that lowering the boom when not at the worksite was a requirement. But I’ve seen many cranes left for the weekend with the booms still up. Actually, I can’t think of too many places in NYC where you could lover a 250 ft boom and leave it down for the weekend (think of streets and businesses blocked for two days).

So maybe they should have completed their investigation before they blamed the operator.

Is this a lesson we can learn? Let me know what you think.