Among the changes are new requirements that will establish ahistory of maintenance and major repairs to critical cranecomponents. The changes were revealed by Acting BuildingsCommissioner Robert LiMandri during a testimony before the US Houseof Representatives Educational and Labor Committee in Washington,DC.

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The changes are built on recommendations made during anemergency safety summit following the May 30th cranecollapse, which killed two construction workers, asGlobeSt.com previously reported. The changes are intended to allowthe DOB "to easily identify and track risks not readily apparentduring visual inspections." In addition, the DOB is expanding therole of the private crane safety coordinator, who will be requiredto oversee the details of tower crane operations to ensure therequired safety and maintenance inspections have been properlycompleted and recorded.

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"Continuous maintenance records, consistent labeling forcritical crane components, certification that crane parts are insafe operable condition--these tracking systems must be put inplace to make tower cranes safer," says LiMandri, in a preparedstatement. "These changes are a step in the right direction, butthere is more work to be done. We will continue to take action aswe identify ways for the City and the industry to make cranessafer."

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Following the March 15th cranecollapse, the DOB launched a full operational overhaul ofthe Cranes & Derricks Unit, and "that process identified a needfor a modernized tracking system for tower cranes, their parts, andtheir maintenance records." According to the DOB, the changes willenhance the City's oversight by mandating additional maintenanceinspections, better record keeping, and tracking of tower cranesand their parts.

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The changes come as the DOB is in the midst of conducting a $4million analysis of high-risk construction activities, includingcrane operations, to develop a Construction Analysis and OversightPlan, which LiMandri discussed last weekat the BuildingsNY real estate trade show at the Jacob K. JavitsConvention Center, where he served as the keynote speaker. Thechanges outlined below will be implemented in phases, and over thecoming months, the DOB will be working to draft regulatory noticesand rules to mandate the changes. The DOB will seek further changesto make cranes safer as the Construction Analysis and OversightPlan continues.

  • The agency requires disclosure of the crane's condition, whereeach time a tower crane is transferred from one party toanother—whether owner to equipment user, equipment user to owner,or equipment user to equipment user—a safety meeting must now beheld to review and document maintenance records and servicehistory.
  • The DOB will mandate labeling requirements for critical cranecomponents and will develop a universal system of labeling eachstructural component of the crane in order to track it throughoutits lifetime.
  • The DOB will impose additional requirements for testing ofcritical crane components including the climbing frame, machinedeck, engine, cab, a-frame, and turntable as well as connections,joints, pins, bolts, tiebacks, and collars.
  • The agency will institute new filing and permittingrequirements. Prior to the issuance of a permit for theinstallation of any tower crane in New York City, the DOB willrequire the crane to undergo a review of its maintenance records bya qualified third party.
  • The DOB will increase tower crane maintenance and crane historyrecord requirements. The department will require that allmaintenance records for tower cranes—including inspectionsperformed and repairs made by the owner in the crane yard as wellas the daily and monthly records kept on the construction site bythe equipment user, operator, or maintenance crew—be maintainedthroughout the lifetime of the crane.
  • The department will expand the role of the crane safetycoordinator, who will be required to be the operator's designatedrepresentative to both document that all required safety andmaintenance checks have been made and that safety rules arefollowed in the erection, operation and dismantling of thecrane.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.