City to scale back plan for stricter crane rules

Construction firms, crane operators said the ban was hurting business

TRD New York /
Mar.March 14, 2016 05:42 PM

The city is planning to reverse its course on stricter crane rules that were implemented after the collapse of a nearly 600-foot-tall crane in Tribeca last month killed one pedestrian and injured three.

Two days after the Feb. 5 collapse, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced tougher regulations, which included halting crawler crane operations whenever winds were even forecast to exceed 20 miles per hour or if gusts exceeded 30 miles per hour. The cranes were to go into safety mode, and they were to be secured the day before winds were forecasted to begin.

A working group looking over the city’s crane rules has suggested lifting that ban and going back to the former rules, Crain’s reported. Before the Tribeca incident, cranes had to stop working when winds got up to 30 miles per hour or according to a manufacturer’s specification. There are around 376 crawler cranes active in the city.

Construction firms, crane companies and workers said the new rules were not necessarily making things safer and the constant stopping was hurting business, Crain’s reported.

The working group also proposed that an operator be on site for crawler cranes unless it can operate in 30 miles per hour winds. It also recommended banning them from being used in public areas if they are unable to operate safely in 20 miles per hour winds, Crain’s reported.

Crain’s reported the new regulations are not finalized yet.

The crane collapse on Worth Street killed David Wichs, 38, and damaged four buildings. Penalties for failing to safeguard a crane increased to $10,000 to $4,800 after the accident. [Crain’s]Dusica Sue Malesevic

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