Serrano and Bing Opposed to Proposed Federal Crane Regulations

José M. Serrano

March 24, 2009

Senator José M. Serrano (D- Manhattan/Bronx) and Assemblymember Jonathan L. Bing (D-Manhattan) today announced their opposition to a proposed federal regulation to prevent New York City from shutting down dangerous crane operations.
Bing and Serrano joined their colleagues on the East Side of Manhattan in a letter to OSHA outlining their concerns with the proposed changes. The Occupation Safety and Health Administration recently proposed to take over administration of crane operations from the New York City Department of Buildings. This regulation change would prevent the Department of Buildings from issuing stop-work orders for unsafe cranes.
"This measure would be tantamount to deregulation of cranes in New York City," Assemblymember Jonathan L. Bing said. "In the past year, I have been proud to work with the Department of Buildings on making crane safety a top priority. The DOB's increased effort, along with legislative advancements such as the law I authored last year to increase civil and criminal penalties for individuals interfering with construction safety (Ch. 463 of 2008), has made construction safer in New York."
Senator José M. Serrano said, “Oversight cannot happen if you are out of sight. The Department of Buildings is the agency on the ground, and it has made tremendous improvements in staffing and procedures over this past year. The best way to ensure safety is by doing it right here in the City.”
A recently published report determined that the DOB’s protocol for evaluating the safety of construction sites, and cranes in particular, met industry standards. In addition, New York City has recently enacted new measures to ensure even greater safety, including mandated training for crane operators, updated site-safety protocols, and a more inclusive process for approving building plans.
Hearings on the proposal ended in Washington last Thursday. There is now a 60-day period for public comments on the issue.
Assemblymember Bing and State Senator Serrano represent the areas affected by last year’s crane accidents. Bing and Serrano were joined in their letter by State Senator Liz Krueger, Assemblymember Micah Kellner, and City Councilmembers Dan Garodnick and Jessica Lappin.