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NEW YORK CITY-The Department of Buildings has revealed a series of changes regarding tower crane safety. The changes are designed to strengthen maintenance and inspection requirements to advance safety in and around construction sites with tower cranes.

Among the changes are new requirements that will establish a history of maintenance and major repairs to critical crane components. The changes were revealed by Acting Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri during a testimony before the US House of Representatives Educational and Labor Committee in Washington, DC.

The changes are built on recommendations made during an emergency safety summit following the May 30th crane collapse, which killed two construction workers, as GlobeSt.com previously reported. The changes are intended to allow the DOB “to easily identify and track risks not readily apparent during visual inspections.” In addition, the DOB is expanding the role of the private crane safety coordinator, who will be required to oversee the details of tower crane operations to ensure the required safety and maintenance inspections have been properly completed and recorded.

“Continuous maintenance records, consistent labeling for critical crane components, certification that crane parts are in safe operable condition–these tracking systems must be put in place to make tower cranes safer,” says LiMandri, in a prepared statement. “These changes are a step in the right direction, but there is more work to be done. We will continue to take action as we identify ways for the City and the industry to make cranes safer.”

Following the March 15th crane collapse, the DOB launched a full operational overhaul of the Cranes & Derricks Unit, and “that process identified a need for a modernized tracking system for tower cranes, their parts, and their maintenance records.” According to the DOB, the changes will enhance the City’s oversight by mandating additional maintenance inspections, better record keeping, and tracking of tower cranes and their parts.

The changes come as the DOB is in the midst of conducting a $4 million analysis of high-risk construction activities, including crane operations, to develop a Construction Analysis and Oversight Plan, which LiMandri discussed last week at the BuildingsNY real estate trade show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, where he served as the keynote speaker. The changes outlined below will be implemented in phases, and over the coming months, the DOB will be working to draft regulatory notices and rules to mandate the changes. The DOB will seek further changes to make cranes safer as the Construction Analysis and Oversight Plan continues.

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