Proposal Seeks to Limit Age of NYC Cranes

December 16, 2013

The New York City mayor’s office has issued a proposal for a 25-year age limit on cranes operating in the city. Mobile and tower cranes would be removed from service based on the original date of manufacture, or based on the age of the crane’s oldest component, whichever is greater. In addition, crane owners would be required to outfit all cranes with load cycle counters to record data regarding every lift that a crane performs—which is critical to setting maintenance schedules and overall operability over a crane’s service life.

“New York City has some of the toughest crane regulations in the world, and we enforce crane regulations more stringently than anywhere else,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Since 2008, the city has adopted more than 25 new construction safety laws, conducted tougher inspections and raised licensing standards for crane operators. This legislation builds on those efforts by ensuring only state-of-the art, highly reliable equipment is transforming New York City’s skyline.”

In 2008, the average age of tower cranes operating in New York City was 14.8 years. Today, the average age of tower cranes is 9.2 years. Since 2008, the department has also issued cease-use orders for two models of cranes manufactured in the 1970s and 1980s and removed 36 tower cranes from operation. These models of cranes were ordered out of service after they were identified to have documented performance and safety issues.

“Imposing a limit on the age of cranes will bring our policy in line with the reality of advances in safety and technology in the crane industry,” said Building Commissioner Robert D. LiMandri. “As building in New York City continues to accelerate, we must encourage crane manufactures to supply the construction industry with modernized equipment. In partnership with Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council, we have made impressive gains in increasing the city’s oversight of crane operations and demonstrated our commitment to making construction safer for workers and the public.”

Since 2008, the department has increased its oversight of crane operations across the city, including expanded inspection checklists, more training for crane inspectors, updated exams, stricter licensing requirements and several new laws and requirements.