Crane Regs Have NY Cement League Up in Arms

September 28, 2010

The Cement League, an association representing union concrete workers and contractors in New York City, is strenuously objecting to new requirements issued by the New York City Department of Buildings as part of the application process for tower cranes to be erected, dismantled or jumped.

The onerous provisions, issued without industry consultation, call for crane operators to submit detailed rigging plans – including operational procedures, manufacturer's documentation, material specifications and engineering reports – prior to review and approval of their Crane Notice (CN) applications. These additional provisions are also far above the recently enacted City Council legislation, and require engineering certifications and manufacturer information which are not obtainable, according to the Cement League.

In a letter to Jason Ocharsky, P.E., executive director, Cranes & Derricks Division, Department of Buildings, Alfred G. Gerosa, executive director of the Cement League, stated, "The effect of your new provisions, not discussed with the industry and whatever their legality, is to shut down the entire tower crane industry in the city, throwing thousands of construction workers out of work. The compliance with these provisions is not possible."

The Cement League was founded in 1905 in conjunction with the growing labor movement in America, and the beginning of skyscraper construction in New York City. The organization operates as the bargaining agent for eight building trade unions and employs a professional engineer to assist members with technical issues. Through its leadership, The Cement League negotiates labor contracts with employers -- including the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing employment and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies.