Amendment of the rules relating to cranes and derricks

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:1)

Comment By: 
Monday, March 20, 2017


Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

In 2015, the Department of Buildings established the Crane Rule Advisory Committee (“the committee”), made up of over three dozen representatives of crane and derrick manufacturers, filing engineers, operating engineers, riggers, and construction firms.  The committee has been engaged in a multi-phase effort to update the city’s rules for cranes and derricks, which are contained in 1 RCNY 3319-01.  Phase 1 was completed in January 2016.  The rule amendments herein proposed represent the second phase of this effort.  The department anticipates a third phase to culminate in additional rule amendments in the second half of 2017.

The proposed amendments incorporate recommendations made by the Department’s June 2009 High Risk Construction Oversight (“HRCO”) study that pertain to cranes and derricks, as well as recommendations made by the Crane Safety Technical Working Group (“TWG”), appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler following the February 2016 crane collapse in Tribeca.

These proposed amendments address the following issues related to cranes:

  • Safety related to high winds
  • Inspections
  • Documentation
  • Engineering plans
  • Operations near powerlines

Highlights of the proposed amendments include:

subdivision (b)

  • Adds new and revises existing definitions.
  • Revises the definition for self-erecting tower cranes to clarify that self-erecting tower cranes are a subset of tower cranes and cannot be considered a mobile crane.  The proposed amendments also recognize that self-erecting tower cranes are different from standard tower cranes and include proposed amendments which apply or exclude existing tower crane requirements to self-erecting tower cranes, as appropriate.  This reflects the recommendation of the TWG to create rules that apply to self-erecting tower cranes (TWG Recommendation #7).

subdivision (c)

  • Clarifies existing circumstances where a certificate of on-site inspection is not required and consolidates them under paragraph (1).  Currently, exceptions 1.1, 1.2, and 2.3 are found in paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) of the rule; exceptions 2.1 and 2.2 are found in paragraph (3) of subdivision (g) of the rule; exception 1.4 was found in 27-1057(d)(4) of the New York City administrative code.
  • Adds new provisions to restrict the use of exception 1.4 only to instances where the crane imposes a limited load on the ground, and does not impact underground infrastructure such as vaults or subway tunnels.
  • Adds Exception 1.3, which authorizes work related to the placement of a sidewalk shed or the initial level of a construction hoist without a certificate of on-site inspection.
  • Establishes a new requirement, Paragraph (5) of subdivision (c), to notify the Department in advance of specified crane or derrick activities.  The notification requirement was recommended by HRCO (HRCO Recommendation C-17).

subdivision (d)

  • Clarifies the rule to specify the type of information that the filing engineer for a tower crane installation in New York City must provide to the manufacturer of the tower crane, as well as the information the tower crane manufacturer must submit to the city.

subdivision (e)

  • Recognizes European standard, EN 16228, for the design of pile drivers.
  • Recognizes recent editions of standards published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for the design of cranes and derricks.
  • These and other instances throughout the proposed amendments where model standards are adopted reflect the recommendation of the TWG to adopt relevant model standards for cranes and rigging (TWG Recommendation #8). 

subdivision (g)

  • Completely revises the provisions in subdivision (g) related to the certificate of on-site inspection, which authorizes the use of a crane or derrick at a specific location within New York City.
  • Identifies the types of plans, calculations, and supporting documents that must be submitted with the application for a certificate of on-site inspection.
  • Requires that bolt and torque information be shown on the crane or derrick notice plan, as recommended by HRCO (HRCO Recommendation C-2).
  • Requires that load test procedures in subparagraph (iii) of paragraph (2) to be submitted as part of the application for a certificate of on-site inspection, as recommended by HRCO (HRCO Recommendation C-15).
  • Requires in subparagraph (v) of paragraph (2) that a New York State professional engineer must detail the wind restrictions for the crane or derrick, as well as the procedures to secure the crane or derrick in the event of wind.  The requirement for a wind action plan was recommended by the TWG (TWG Recommendation #19).
  • In Paragraph (6), allows the foundation, anchor stool, and first mast section of a tower crane to be installed prior to the approval of the application for the certificate of on-site inspection; this provision ensures proper alignment of the tower crane to the foundation and was recommended by HRCO (HRCO Recommendation C-9).
  • In Paragraphs (7) and (8) establishes a new signoff inspection for the certificate of on-site inspection.  This signoff will require a representative of the filing engineer and other specified personnel to inspect the crane or derrick at the job site to verify conformance with the approved plans.  This was recommended by the TWG (TWG Recommendation #13).
  • Requires an engineer to observe the tie-in installation as part of the signoff process, as recommended by HRCO (HRCO Recommendation C-8).

subdivision (h)

  • Establishes a new requirement for a crane or derrick log to be maintained at the job site.  The log must contain specified meeting and inspection records, as well as other applicable information.  The existing requirements in subdivision (h) are currently superseded by the requirements of Chapter 2 of Title 28 of the New York City administrative code.

subdivision (i)

  • Consolidates and clarifies existing requirements for the licensing and training of personnel associated with the use of a crane or derrick in subdivision (i).
  • Exceptions 1 and 2 to paragraph (1) cross reference existing code exemptions.  Exception 3 is currently found in paragraph (1) of subdivision (p).  Exception 4 is currently found in subdivision (a), and is rewritten to cross reference parallel requirements in the building code.  Exceptions 5 and 6 are new proposals.  Exception 5 mirrors exception 1.3 of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c).  Exception 6 authorizes dedicated pile drivers to be operated by individuals who hold a recognized national certification for pile drivers.
  • Paragraphs (6) and (7) adopt requirements from OSHA 1926 Subpart CC regulations related to personnel who assemble or disassemble a crane or derrick and add additional New York City training requirements.  Among other things, these paragraphs require that an assembly/disassembly director must be designated, and that the assembly/disassembly director is charged with ensuring compliance with the approved assembly/disassembly plan; this was recommended by the TWG (TWG Recommendation #12).

subdivision (k)

Revised the existing provisions related to crane and derrick inspections in subdivision (k).

  • Adopts in Paragraph (1) of subdivision (k) ASME requirements for frequent crane or derrick inspections, with modifications to account for unique conditions in New York City.  The requirement for the frequent inspection of the crane to be performed prior to each shift, and to be documented, was recommended by the TWG (TWG Recommendation #15).
  • Establishes in Paragraph (2) a new requirement for the hosting machine operator to inspect their machine at the end of the shift to verify it has been properly secured for out of service conditions.  This inspection was recommended by the TWG (TWC Recommendation #18).
  • Renumbers in Paragraphs (3) and (4) existing text related to periodic inspections and inspections of cranes or derricks that have been idle for a specified period of time.  Edits were made to reflect the structure of the revised rule.  The technical specifications of the inspections will be revisited in a future phase of the crane rule revision process.
  • Creates a new section (Paragraph (6)) which requires certain special inspections be performed on cranes and derricks.  This was recommended by HRCO (HRCO Recommendations C-8 & C-9).

subdivision (r)

  • Adopts ASME requirements for signals, and cross references existing training and certification requirements for signalpersons in the New York City building code.

subdivision (s)

  • Adopts in Paragraph (1) provisions from HRCO (HRCO Recommendation C-5) related to crane counterweights.
  • Adopts in Paragraph (3) requirements from OSHA 1926 Subpart CC regulations concerning crane operations near a power line. NYC’s existing regulations for crane operations near a power line are currently superseded by these OSHA requirements.  The proposed amendment also requires that certain information related to crane operations near a power line must be submitted as part of the application for a certificate of on-site inspection.
  • Paragraphs (5), (6) and (7) cross reference existing provisions related to cranes used in demolition, as well as to existing Department of Transportation requirements.
  • Moves existing provisions from subdivisions (t), (u), and (v) to subdivision (s).

subdivision (t)

  • Consolidates and clarifies wind and weather restrictions for cranes and derricks in subdivision (t).
  • Relocates the requirement currently found in paragraph (2) of subdivision (s) prohibiting the operation of cranes and derricks in winds of over 30mph to subdivision (t), and clarifies in paragraphs (3) and (4) the difference between start of work and in-service scenarios.
  • Creates a new requirement in paragraph (7) that the wind be measured via an anemometer installed on the crane or at the site, as recommended by the TWG (TWG Recommendation #4).
  • Clarifies in Paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (t) that the hoisting machine operator must review and follow the requirements of the wind action plan and the applicable procedures of the equipment manufacturer.
  • Expands in Paragraph (5) the wind and weather restrictions that apply to assembly/disassembly operations.

subdivision (u)

  • Requires that plans and documents must be maintained at the site, available to the hoisting machine operator, lift director, and assembly/disassembly director.

subdivision (w) and (x)

  • Cross references existing requirements of the New York City administrative code.

The Department of Buildings’ authority for these rules is found in sections 643 and 1043 of the New York City Charter and section 3319.1 of the New York City Building Code.

New material is underlined.

[Deleted material is in brackets.]




Public Hearing


Public Hearing Date: 
Monday, March 20, 2017 - 10:00am

No contact

Auditorium, 2nd floor
125 Worth Street
New York, NY 10013