Safety recommendations from NYC Crane Working Group

By Alex Dahm05 July 2016

On 10 June Bill de Blasio, New York City mayor, and Rick Chandler, buildings commissioner, announced publication of a report by the city’s Technical Working Group with 23 crane safety recommendations.

It said that the “Technical Working Group’s independent review provides guidance on national and international best practices and recent technological advances that can be implemented to ensure that New York City continues to have the most robust crane regulations in the nation. The working group consulted stakeholders across the construction industry and workforce as it crafted its recommendations."

Mayor de Blasio commented, “The Working Group heard from all stakeholders and recommended a thoughtful set of commonsense crane-safety measures. I expect that Department of Buildings (DOB) will take a close look at this report, take action on provisions the agency can implement on its own, and work with the Council on items that require legislation.”

Key recommendations include:

• Require the latest technology and phase out older cranes.

• Increase industry accountability for crane operation.

• Set site-specific wind requirements at 30 mph (48 km/h).

• DOB should explore more flexible staffing arrangements to deal with surges in crane application volumes.

• Reform training and licensing requirements, including more crane-specific training for operating engineers.

Additional actions taken by the Department of Buildings since a February incident include barring crawler crane configurations with an out-of-service wind threshold of 20 mph (32.4 km/h) or less from city streets and an increase in the base penalty from US$4,800 to $10,000 for failure to safeguard cranes.

SC&RA vice president Beth O’Quinn said the association is reviewing the report and recommendations.

“We remain opposed to any age limitation imposed on cranes as there is no correlation between a crane’s age and crane accidents,” said O’Quinn. “Proper inspections and maintenance are the true factors in the safety and life of a crane.”

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