The Real Estate Board of New York is urging New York City to adopt national licensing practices for crane operators, two years after the collapse of two cranes in the city.
The city responded to earlier calls by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization’s research division to start national licensing by enforcing licensing procedures for class C cranes (the smallest size). REBNY is now advocating for that to become standard for all sizes.
A crane collapsed at the Turtle Bay construction site at 303 East 51st Street in March 2008 killing seven people. Only 10 days later, two were killed as a crane collapsed during the construction of a high-rise at 2125 North Bayshore Drive in Florida. In May 2008, two were killed at the Azure condominium site at 333 East 91st Street.
Formal licensing makes sure that all drivers are up to speed on new technology, and introduces certifications and practical exams. The federal agency Occupational Safety and Health Administration is insisting these measures be implemented by 2014.
This might also result in a loss of control for Local Unions 14 and 15, said REBNY on their facebook page. At the moment it is nearly impossible to obtain a license without participation in these unions.
The City Council and the Department of Buildings were not immediately available for comment. TRD