The Real Deal New York

City to require tighter supervision of crane operations

DOB's temporary order will require "lift directors" at each site where crawler cranes are used
July 01, 2016 09:01AM

The collapsed crane on Worth Street in Tribeca (credit: FDNY)

The collapsed crane on Worth Street in Tribeca (credit: FDNY)

City officials on Thursday issued a temporary mandate that will require increased supervision of crawler cranes, a move that follows a February collapse that killed one man and injured several more in Lower Manhattan.

The city’s Department of Buildings introduced the rule, which will require dedicated “lift directors” to monitor crawler cranes at each construction site where the cranes are being used, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Lift directors will conduct a daily safety check at each site at the start of every workday, in addition to supervising the raising and lowering of crane booms.

A key component of the mandate requires operators to monitor the weather and ensure that cranes are shut down properly under a new “wind action plan.” That plan requires crawler cranes to have anemometers capable of measuring wind gusts. Lift directors will decide whether to shut down crane operations based on local forecasts, instead of the current rule that cranes must cease work when winds exceed 30 miles per hour.

The rule is the product of a city task force convened after the accident on Worth Street in Tribeca, in which a 516-foot boom fell across two city blocks. The accident killed David Wichs, 38, injured three, and damaged four buildings.

Bill Shuzman, the head of the Allied Building Metal Industries, called the new rules “extremely onerous.”

“These rules came about because of that accident in February,” he said, “yet nobody knows what caused the accident.” [WSJ] — E.B. Solomont