New Regulations for Crane Operations

A group established by Mayor de Blasio has published a report that include 23 recommendations in order to better protect construction workers and the general public near the specific construction site. “The Crane Technical Working Group released an interim report on June 10 that includes 23 recommendations in regard to crane safety.
The group was established by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Buildings Commission Rick Chandler following a crane collapse on Feb. 5. The accident involved a Liebherr LR1300 crawler crane at 60 Worth Street, Manhattan. One person died and another was seriously injured. The crane was set up to install a new generator and cooling tower on a building. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

The last time the cranes regulations were revised was in 2008, but since then there have been over 10 major construction accidents involving the use of cranes. Then in 2015, there was a new effort to re-examine and update those regulations. The new recommendations include, “that cranes be equipped with anemometers, data-logging devices (“black boxes”), and GPS tracking so that cranes can be more closely monitored. That additional industry oversight be implemented — both periodically and prior to use each day, similar to how airplanes are readied for flight. That the Department of Buildings return to its previous practice of issuing advisories, rather than cease-operations orders, except in extreme weather events, since forecasts are not site specific, and crane operators should not wait for DOB guidance before taking action; cranes rated for lower wind speeds have already been prohibited from city streets; and the recommendations in this report greatly enhance DOB’s ability to monitor compliance with regulations. In addition, private meteorological services to provide pinpoint forecasting are recommended, as well as placing an age limit on cranes and using self-erecting tower cranes. Greater industry accountability is another part of the group’s recommendations. This includes third party crane certifiers for comprehensive inspection, risk-based plan examination, and the adjustment of staffing models to address cyclical work and the need for specialized expertise. In addition, the group recommends crane assembly/disassembly supervision, post-assembly inspection, the appointment of a lift director, pre-shift meetings and inspections, the monitoring of weather conditions during work, department-issued advisories in advance of inclement weather, post-shift checks, clear indications of wind speed thresholds and the securing sequence, restrictions on cranes with lower wind thresholds, and focused city coordination. Training and licensing enhancements are also recommended, including orientation for cranes with a long boom/jib configuration and the creation of a specific licensing endorsement for such cranes.

The crane collapse that happened earlier this year that killed one person is still under investigation and more regulations may come to light as the investigation continues. Ultimatley the goal of the Crane Technical Working Group is to minimize the odds of an accident occuring and to increase the safety of the construction workers and general public.



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