Florida Crane Safety Regulations Move Forward

A proposed local crane ordinance continues to move forward, on its way to becoming law in Florida's Miami-Dade county. The proposal will require crane operators to be certified in the county, and require that crane inspections be performed by trained experts. The ordinance will also require companies to safely secure their cranes before hurricanes hit.

A public hearing will be held Dec. 11 at the Board of County Commissioners Chambers in Miami. The Florida Crane Owners Council urges crane companies to attend the meeting to voice any concerns with the ordinance as it reads.

The county commissioners will then meet in early January to take a final vote on the ordinance for approval. Ten days after the mayor signs the ordinance, it will go into effect for all new cranes and construction sites. Existing cranes and construction sites will have one year to comply, and the crane operator certification portion will take effect on Jan. 1, 2009. The ordinance has also been introduced to the Florida legislature for the upcoming session to become law statewide.

The ordinance, proposed by County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, comes in response to a fatal tower crane accident in 2006, and two subsequent accidents in the area. In mid-2006, Edmonson formed a 20-person crane advisory panel. The panel, made up of dealers, rental companies, operators, developers, end users, equipment inspection companies, general contractors, and an attorney, came up with local crane safety recommendations in early 2007 to propose to Miami-Dade County commissioners for approval.