Tower Crane Safety

In an effort to encourage proper supervision and site safety, the Cranes & Derricks Unit (C&D) reminds all Contractors, Crane Operators, and Riggers to be aware of the current NYC Building Code requirements for the erection, dismantling, and jumping of a tower crane or climber tower crane. The Code requires a Licensed Rigger, either a Master Rigger, Tower Rigger, or a Foreman designated by a Master Rigger must supervise the erection, dismantling, and jumping of a tower crane or climber tower crane.

Section 26-172 of the Building Code states the requirements for a Rigger's license.  This section declares that "[i]t shall be unlawful to hoist or lower any article on the outside of any building in the city of New York…unless such work is performed by or under the supervision of a person licensed as a rigger…"  The Code clarifies this section of Code "shall apply to the erection or dismantling of a tower crane or climber crane on a building and to use a derrick in their removal, except that such erection or dismantling may be performed by or under the direct supervision of a person licensed by the City for such purpose in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Department."  

The rules and regulations this section refers to are contained in Title 1 of the RCNY, reprinted in Chapter 25 of the Appendix A to the Code.  These rules establish the licensing requirements for Climber and Tower Crane Riggers.

A Licensed Master Rigger may designate a Foreman to supervise the erection, dismantling, or jumping of the crane in accordance with the guidelines set by Chapter 9 of the Department's rules, also reprinted in the Appendix A to the Code.  The Licensed Master Rigger must file a written designation of the Foreman with the Department’s Licensing Unit and the Foreman must have in his or her possession a Certificate of License Record (also known as a tear-off) from the Licensed Master Rigger, and a photo identification card issued by the Licensed Rigger.

The Department of Buildings will inspect the erection, dismantling, and jumping of tower and climber tower cranes throughout the City and will verify that a Licensed Rigger or his/her designated Foreman is supervising the procedure. If the Department finds a site in violation, Stop Work Orders (SWO) and violations will be issued.


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