Some Call NYC Crane Regulations ‘Overkill’

The construction industry in New York is responding to New York City crane regulations that require detailed maintenance records and operator certification tests, and engineer sign-offs as cranes are raised and dismantled, according to an Associated Press report.

In the report, Frank Bardonaro, president of Bensalem, Pa.-based AmQuip and head of the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association's crane safety task force, called New York's rules "unenforceable."

"Are you going to test every bolt, nut, bracing?" he asked.

New York recently introduced tough rules in addition to those required by the federal government, including laws that require training for tower crane workers, limit the use of slings that hold loads, and overhaul licensing requirements for mobile crane operators.

“We have worked closely with industry officials to develop checks and balances that are making construction sites safer than ever before,” said a city Department of Buildings spokesman in the article. "There are thousands of construction sites in New York City that are managed without incident every day, and there is no reason why developers cannot build safely to avoid any preventable delays."

But the city's construction industry says the rules are difficult to follow, hard to enforce and cause delays. Contractors say sites are often shut down for days or weeks for minor violations, like a missing piece of paperwork, and stopping work at a high-profile site can cost more $100,000 a day.

"In some respects, it's already overkill," said Louis Coletti, president of New York's Building Trades Employers Association. "You've got new rules and regulations coming out every day."