New York Crane operator training, licensing and safety information

New York crane operators

Licensing information

To operate a crane in New York you need to submit certain documents including a copy of you Nationally Accredited Crane Certification.
OSHA issues final rule to protect workers in New York (NY) using cranes and derricks in demolition and underground construction.

If you have not obtained your OSHA Accredited Crane Operator Certificate, click the link now!!!

News Articles

Construction Company Guilty of Manslaughter in Immigrant Worker’s Death

A general contracting company was convicted of manslaughter and other charges on Friday in the death last year of a construction worker at a Lower Manhattan building site. Justice A. Kirke Bartley Jr. of State Supreme Court in Manhattan found the company, Harco Construction, guilty of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, both felonies, and reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, in the death of Carlos Moncayo, 22, an immigrant from Ecuador who lived in Queens.

The company was acquitted of one additional charge of reckless endangerment. Prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office argued that Harcohad ignored repeated warnings about dangerous conditions at a site on Ninth Avenue in the meatpacking district, not far from the High Line. The judge agreed, and found that the company’s negligence had contributed to the collapse of a 14-foot trench on April 6, 2015, when Mr. Moncayo was crushed by thousands of pounds of dirt.
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The company now faces possible fines up to $35,000, and sentencing is expected on July 13. No trial date has been set in the cases against the other defendants — two construction managers and an excavation subcontractor — who also were indicted after an investigation that involved the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the city’s Investigation Department and Police Department. The Harco case was watched closely because criminal liability has often been hard to prove in construction accidents in New York City. In 2012, the owner of a crane company, James F. Lomma, was acquitted of all criminal charges in connection with the collapse of a tower crane that killed two workers. But in a subsequent civil trial, a jury awarded the workers’ families $96 million.

After the judge read the verdict aloud in court on Friday, relatives of Mr. Moncayo, including his mother, who had traveled from Ecuador to attend the trial, broke down in tears and were hugged by Diana Florence, the lead prosecutor. “Today’s guilty verdict should signal to the construction industry that managing a project from afar does not insulate a corporation or general contractor from criminal liability,” said Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattandistrict attorney.

Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, which represents construction workers, said it was a “landmark” decision because “for far too long criminally negligent and reckless contractors have been merely slapped on the wrist with no real consequences. But Ronald P. Fischetti, a lawyer for Harco, called the judge’s decision “extremely disappointing” and vowed to appeal. “There was no evidence that Harco, the general contractor, was involved in any wrongdoing,” he said. “If the verdict stands, this would have a chilling effect on all law-abiding contractors in the city.”

Construction accidents have been climbing in recent years, and many of the victims were undocumented and sometimes poorly trained immigrants. A recent New York Times investigation into construction fatalities found thatthe rise in deaths and injuries has far exceeded the rate of new construction over a comparable period, and that in the cases in which workers died, supervision was lacking and basic steps had not been taken to prevent workers from falling. The investigation also found that because of the urgency to finish these projects as quickly as possible, the workers were forced to take dangerous shortcuts or lacked adequate training. As a result, most of the deaths were “completely avoidable,” federal safety investigators concluded.

Five construction workers have died so far this year. Twelve workers died in2015, according to the New York City Buildings Department, up from eight in 2014. The total has not been that high since the previous construction boom, when 12 workers died in 2007 and 19 in 2008.

Labor Department Sues Employer for Firing Whistle blower
The Department of Labor is suing a company that allegedly fired a worker for reporting health and safety concerns.
The U.S. Department of Labor filed a lawsuit in federal court against a Niagara Falls- based contractor that allegedly fired an employee who reported health and safety concerns.
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The suit, which was filed Feb. 19 with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, alleges that Regional Environmental Demolition Inc. and its officials – Charles Van Epps and Enrico Liberale – fired a laborer who had expressed concerns about safety after OSHA contacted the employer about an anonymous complaint.

The demolition and asbestos abatement laborer had been working on an asbestos abatement project in Buffalo and noticed “soft spots” – deteriorated sections of floor. During the time he worked on the project (from April to June 2014), he reported on multiple occasions his concerns about the safety hazard to officials at the company.

Man gets up to 3 years for hiring Bellhops, Cooks and Hair Dressers as safety managers
A building safety consultant was sentenced to one to three years in state prison for sending hair dressers, cooks and hotel bellhops to impersonate licensed site safety managers at several New York City high-rise construction sites, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.
Richard Marini, president of Avanti Building Consultants, purported to offer the inspection services of qualified safety managers at construction sites located in the Financial District, Gramercy Park and the Upper East Side.
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Instead, Marini hired people from Craigslist — everyone from eBay vendors to musicians — to impersonate site safety managers, according to court documents. Marini then instructed the Craigslist hires to go to construction sites and sign in using their names or provided names of licensed site safety managers in the safety log. Often, the managers did not realize their names were being used.

In some instances, “interns” would sign the name of a deceased site safety manager, according to court documents. The scheme occurred from 2012 to early 2014, when a Department of Buildings inspector noticed a log was signed by a man who had died the year before, the New York Post reported. Marini and several of those he hired were arrested in July 2014. Marini pleaded guilty in October 2015. He is also ordered to pay $610,000 in restitution.

After a fatal crane collapse on Worth Street earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week the city will quadruple fines for serious safety lapses and undertake “proactive” safety investigations at 1,500 construction sites. The new fines and rules come at a time there has been a significant increase in accidents — they rose 24 percent in 2014 to 231 — amid a construction boom.

New York State Department of Labor

A Crane Operator Certificate of Competence is required to operate a crane in New York State while operating cranes in connection with construction, demolition and excavation work. This requirement applies to all cranes having a manufacture's maximum rated capacity exceeding five tons or over forty feet of boom length and to all tower cranes.

The NYS Department of Labor License & Certification Unit administers Operational exams for the following classifications of cranes.
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  • Class A - Unrestricted – Conventional, cable, lattice boom, and friction are names that have been used in reference to this classification. This classification includes all cranes having a fixed lattice boom, with or without free fall capability; conventional tower cranes, derricks and all cranes with free fall capability. Class A allows operation of any crane.
  • Class B - Hydraulic – This includes all hydraulic cranes which have a telescopic boom and swinging cab; there is no restriction on maximum manufacturer’s rating. This classification also includes smaller trailer or truck mounted self-erecting tower cranes, as well as boom trucks having over 28 ton manufacturer’s rated capacity. Class B allows operation of B, C & D.
  • Class C - Boom Truck – This includes cranes having telescopic booms which are generally truck mounted and up to 28 ton maximum manufacturer’s rated capacity. Class C allows operation of C & D.
  • Class D - Restricted Boom Truck – These cranes are also referred to as sign hangers, but their use is not restricted to that industry. This includes cranes having telescopic booms which are generally truck mounted and up to 3 ton maximum manufacturer’s rated capacity, and up to 125 feet of boom. Class D allows operation of D only.
  • Class E – Reserved.
  • Class F - Line Truck – These cranes are also referred to as digger derricks. It is up to 15 ton maximum manufacturer’s rated capacity, 65 foot maximum boom length, utilizing a non-conductive tip with nylon rope, for use in electrical applications only. Class F allows operation of F only.

Safety Violations Killed 4 Workers

By John Kennedy Law360, New York (May 15, 2015, 1:26 PM ET) -- The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday that four Texas workers killed by lethal gas in November would be alive today had their employer, DuPont Co., taken steps to protect them, citing the chemical company for 11 safety violations.

The agency's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the citations included one repeat violation, nine serious violations and one “other than serious” violation stemming from a methyl mercaptan release at DuPont's manufacturing building in La Porte, Texas.

Hannaford Settles Labor Dispute After OSHA Citation

The Hannaford supermarket chain is settling a dispute with the federal Department of Labor with a promise to institute new worker protection standards at two distribution centers. The labor department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Hannaford for failing to keep distribution centers in Schodack Landing, New York, and South Portland, Maine, free from hazards that can cause disorders of the muscular and skeletal systems.

The citation came after inspections in 2013 and 2014. Hannaford initially contested the citation. The labor department says on Wednesday that the company is settling and instituting new policies. The policies include hiring an ergonomist to assess both warehouses. The company will also pay $9,750 in fines. Hannaford has more than 150 stores in five states.

Crane dangles from NYC high-rise, clearing streets
A construction crane atop a $1.5 billion luxury high-rise in midtown Manhattan collapsed in high winds Monday and dangled precariously, prompting plans for engineers and inspectors to climb to the top to examine it as a huge storm bore down on the city.

Some buildings, including 900 guests at the Parker Meridien hotel, were being evacuated as a precaution and the streets below were cleared, but there were no immediate reports of injuries. City officials didn't have a number on how many people were told to leave. Authorities received a call about the collapse at around 2 p.m. as conditions worsened from the approaching Hurricane Sandy. Meteorologists said winds atop the 74-story building could have been close to 95 mph at the time.
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The nearly completed high-rise is known as One57 and is in one of the city's most desirable neighborhoods, near Carnegie Hall, Columbus Circle and Central Park. It had been inspected, along with other city cranes, on Friday and was found to be ready for the weather. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said later Monday it wasn't clear why the accident happened. "It's conceivable that nobody did anything wrong and there was no malfunction, it was just a strange gust of wind," Bloomberg said.

Engineers and inspectors were planning to hike up 74 flights of stairs to examine the crane. The harrowing inspection was being undertaken by experts who are "the best of the best," city Buildings Department spokesman Tony Sclafani said. Lend Lease, one of the largest construction companies in the city, is construction manager for the project. Bloomberg was careful not to blame the company, and said it would be days before officials figured out what happened.

A spokeswoman for Lend Lease said the company was working with city officials to secure the structure but the weather remained severe. There was no immediate response to a message left with the developer, Extell Development. A phone number for the company that owns the crane, Pinnacle Industries II LLC, rang unanswered.

Proposed new rule lets crane operators get license without prior NYC experience
The Bloomberg administration is considering letting operators of giant tower cranes get their license without any prior New York City experience — a sensitive topic in a city where cranes have collapsed and dropped loads of steel near busy sidewalks.

A proposed new rule eliminates the requirement that all big crane operators must run cranes as apprentices in the city for three years before getting their license. But after the Buildings Department regulation was unveiled at a Feb. 13 hearing, a war over safety erupted between the crane workers union and big developers.

Operating Engineers Local 14 warns that crane operators who’ve never run the giant machines in this city — with its complex infrastructure, extremely tall buildings and busy streets — could endanger city residents.
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Big developers, represented by the Real Estate Board of New York, say the change is safe and will make hiring more flexible and less costly. In the coming weeks, Mayor Bloomberg will have to decide whether the city training requirement is necessary. The change is a belated response to two separate crane accidents in 2008. One woman on the ground and eight construction workers died in those wrecks.

Mechanical problems and shoddy oversight were blamed, and the owner of one of those cranes is currently on trial facing criminal charges in Manhattan. The question of crane safety resurfaced last month when a tower crane dropped a huge load of steel 40 stories outside Four World Trade Center. After the 2008 accidents and several others around the nation, the feds decided all cities must now meet national standards.

New York’s rules were fairly stringent, but the feds required re-testing every five years. New York had no such requirement, so the city decided to revamp the whole process. The proposed new rules require two years of prior apprenticeship experience, but that can take place in any “urban area of comparable density.”

Hank Sheinkopf, a consultant hired by Local 14, said the union’s members are “tested in New York City specific rules and regulations that are much more complicated than elsewhere in the country.” Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, said developers who build in other cities tell him, “High rise construction is high rise construction.”

New York OSHA staff promote workers' safety and rights at Hispanic heritage event
On September 12, Clara Marin and Wilson Soto of OSHA's Buffalo Area Office attended the 13th Annual Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of Western New York. This year's theme was "Orgullo De Nuestras Raíces" (Proud of Our Roots).

Occurring during National Hispanic Heritage Month, the parade is a valuable opportunity for OSHA to pass on the message of safety to the Buffalo area's large Puerto Rican and Hispanic communities. In addition to distributing pamphlets promoting safety and employee rights under the OSH Act, OSHA staff converted a government vehicle into a parade float to show the agency's support for the Hispanic community of Western New York.

*It is essential that you check with your local government and confirm that the information listed above is still good today. This information
should only be used as a tool to help you figure out what type of license you need to operate certain types of equipment.

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