Industry Responds to NYC Crane Regulations

After the New York City Council voted to pass construction safety legislation earlier this month, the industry is now reacting to the regulations. The Buildings Department notified concrete contractors at high-rise buildings of what its top crane regulator called “new requirements” for erecting, dismantling and raising tower cranes • rules that construction industry officials called onerous ones that would hamper building activity in New York, according to a report in The New York Times.

According to the article, industry officials said that the requirements would put as many as 2,400 union laborers at least temporarily out of work and complained that the agency designed them without any consultation with builders. The regulations, which went into effect immediately, are among several steps the city has taken to address crane safety after nine people were killed in two crane accidents earlier this year.

Construction officials say that one of the most significant changes is a requirement that engineers or crane manufacturers provide detailed rigging plans for raising a crane, and certify the actual work, which is now done by licensed master riggers under a plan approved by a professional engineer, The Times said. The rigging plan would include a detailed outline of how sections of a crane are raised at a construction site as work proceeds higher and higher.

Alfred Gerosa, the Cement League's executive director, was quoted by The Times as saying that the provisions will shut down the tower-crane industry and called compliance “impossible.”

Louis Coletti, head of the Building Trades Employers Association, which represents 1,700 steel and concrete workers, was quoted by Bloomberg.com, saying: “No one knew these proposals were coming out, there was no discussion with the industry.'' He also called the city's time frame “unrealistic.”

Read more industry reaction at The New York Times and Bloomberg.com.