For Immediate Release
June 30, 2016


NEW YORK — Today, Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, PE announced that DOB has implemented several of the recommendations released earlier this month by the Crane Safety Technical Working Group, members of which were appointed by Mayor de Blasio after February’s crawler crane collapse in Tribeca. Among other recommendations, the Commissioner’s Order released today:

  • Continues DOB’s previous action to ban from City streets any crawler crane configuration that must cease operation in winds of 20 miles per hour or less, such as the one that collapsed in Tribeca;
  • Requires crawler cranes operating in New York City to have anemometers (devices that measure wind speeds) to allow real-time monitoring of weather conditions;
  • Mandates that contractors who are using crawler cranes must have an on-site lift director to monitor conditions and convene pre-shift meetings and inspections, similar to the sign-off process that is required before passenger airplanes take off; and
  • Restricts crawler crane operations when winds exceed 30mph, based on on-site measurement of wind speeds.

Please click here for a copy of the DOB Commissioner’s Order. As previously announced, DOB will be working throughout the summer to review the Working Group’s report and enact additional recommendations, either through Commissioner’s Orders, rulemaking, or legislation. The Group’s recommendations are summarized below. Please click here for a full copy of the Group’s report.

“DOB is implementing these independent recommendations to make New York’s crane regulations -already the strongest in the country- even more effective. In the coming weeks, we will be working to enact additional recommendations proposed by the Working Group. The Group’s recommendations are solid, sensible, and doable,” said Buildings Commissioner Chandler.

The Technical Working Group’s independent review provides guidance on national and international best practices and recent technological advances that can be implemented to ensure that New York City continues to have the most robust crane regulations in the nation. The Working Group consulted with stakeholders across the construction industry and workforce as it crafted its recommendations.

Summary of Key Recommendations from the Crane Safety Technical Working Group:

Require the latest technology and phase out older cranes. Cranes operating in the City of New York should be equipped with anemometers (devices that measure wind speeds), data-logging devices (“black boxes”), and GPS trackers to allow cranes to be more closely monitored. There should be an age limit on cranes operating in the City.

Increase industry accountability for crane operation. DOB should require contractors to have an on-site lift director who will be responsible for verifying compliance with city regulations and monitoring site-specific wind conditions during work – and ceasing operations, if necessary. In particular, the Working Group recommends that the lift director convene pre-shift meetings and inspections, similar to the sign-off process that occurs before passenger airplanes take off.

Set site-specific wind requirements at 30 mph. DOB should maintain its current rule restricting crane operation when winds exceed 30mph, but this restriction should be based on the on-site measurement of wind speeds, rather than through Citywide notices to cease crane operations. Crane configurations that must cease operation when winds are between 20 and 30mph should only be allowed in non-public areas, or if a safety plan is approved by the City. DOB should maintain its policy barring crane configurations with an out-of-service wind threshold at or below 20mph, unless the crane is located in a non-public area.

DOB should explore more flexible staffing arrangements to deal with surges in crane application volumes. The Working Group recommends that DOB evaluate the use of outside expertise to supplement DOB’s inspection team, as well as the use of DOB-approved third-party certifiers for comprehensive inspections, if needed.

Reform training and licensing requirements, including more crane-specific training for operating engineers. The Working Group recommends that DOB mandate that operators receive training on the operation of cranes with unusually long jib/boom combinations before they can operate such cranes. DOB should limit all hoisting machine operator (HMO) license operators from using long boom/jib configurations unless they receive a specific licensing endorsement, as determined by DOB, for such a configuration.

DOB Actions on Crane Safety Following February’s Collapse:

Increased Crane Restrictions. DOB barred from City streets crawler crane configurations that have an out-of-service wind threshold of 20 miles per hour or less, such as the one that collapsed in February.

Higher Fines for Safety Lapses. DOB is raising the base penalty for failure to safeguard cranes from $4,800 to $10,000.

Contact:, (212) 393-2126
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