Fatal New York Crane Accident Prompts New Safety Requirements
Earlier this month a crane in New York City, doing work on the No. 7 subway line extension, collapsed. One worker lost his life as a result of the accident. The tragedy has now prompted officials to tighten crane operator safety regulations.
In hopes of preventing similarNew York City crane accidents, it was announced yesterday that crane operators must now comply with additional regulations to be fully licensed. Crane operators will be required to take a 40-hour training course and pass a national certification exam.
Currently, a test for crane operators is administered by the city. By requiring crane operators to be nationally certified New York is working towards compliance with a federal mandate, which requires crane operators be certified through accredited agencies by 2014.
In 2008, the city began strengthening licensing regulations after two crane collapses took the lives of nine people. “Crane accidents in New York and other cities in recent years have showed us all that more oversight is needed over this industry, not less,” explained the Buildings Commissioner whose agency handles crane inspections and the licensing of operators.
The crane operators’ union, the International Union of Operating Engineers, opposes the move toward national certification.
Individuals who operate small mobile cranes are already required to abide by these rules. The recent action by officials would extend the mandate to workers who operate tower and other types of cranes.
The new regulations take effect for new applicants on May 26. Those crane operators who are already licensed have until July 1, 2013 to come into compliance. License renewal is required every five years.
Source: The Wall Street Journal,Crane Operator License Regulations Tightened, Ted Mann, 19 April 2012.