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Construction & Design

DOB updates crane regs in wake of fatal accident

New York City Department of Buildings has updated the interim crane regulations the agency put in place after the crawler crane collapse in Tribeca on February 5.
Among other measures, the updated rules bar from City streets the type of crane configuration involved in the collapse.

The updated regulations result from an analysis of crawler cranes operating in New York City and from consultations with the Crane Safety Technical Working Group, which was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio and DOB Commissioner Rick Chandler last month, as well as DOB’s Crane Rules Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from the city’s construction industry. The updated regulations:

• Bar from City streets any crawler crane that is required by its manufacturer to shut down in winds of less than 20 miles per hour, such as the crane configuration that collapsed last month;
• Require that a licensed engineer be present for any operation of a crawler crane rated for less than 30mph winds. The engineer will monitor wind speeds, confirm that cranes are properly secured after work hours, and can shut down crane operations, if needed; and
• Prohibit all crane operations whenever winds exceed 30mph or are forecast to do so.
“In consultation with the Technical Working Group, we are tightening regulations on cranes rated for lower wind speeds while allowing cranes that can operate safely in higher winds to go about their work,” said Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler.

“However, both the crane collapse investigation and the Working Group’s review are still ongoing, and we may have further modifications to these rules in the coming weeks, including enhanced regulation and enforcement of crane operations.”

The updated regulations will remain in place until the Technical Working Group completes its review of crane operations Citywide. The Group’s review is expected to be complete by late May.
Following the crane collapse, the City implemented several additional directives regarding crawler cranes, which will remain in place:

Higher Fines for Safety Lapses: Through rulemaking, DOB is raising the base penalty for failure to safeguard cranes from $4,800 to $10,000.

More Sidewalk Protection for Pedestrians: FDNY and DOB have increased enforcement of sidewalk and street closures related to crane activity, including the requirement that pedestrian traffic managers are present when large cranes operated in areas with significant pedestrian traffic. In addition, DOB is conducting inspections and issuing violations to crane firms, operators and other personnel if flaggers are not appropriately restricting pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

Improved Notification for Surrounding Residents and Businesses: Prior to moving a crane, operators are required to notify those who live or work in the area. Previously, crane operators were required to notify residents and businesses only when the crane is first installed.

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