May 5, 2014
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – NYC Council Member Ben Kallos introduced The Construction Safety Act on April 29th at a stated meeting: Intro 298 and Intro 299.
The two pieces of legislation are designed to ensure New York City maintains the most stringent construction safety regulations in the nation. The Cranes Bill specifies that New York City government continues to administer the licensing exam rather than private companies and that operators have local experience, and the Rigging Bill ensures that a Master Rigger with five years of experience can’t be replaced by a so-called “competent person” with a 32-hour course.
“We must never sacrifice safety for corporate profits: A human life is priceless. With so much construction hanging hundreds of feet above our heads, New Yorkers must know that we have the highest safety standards anywhere in the nation,” said Kallos.
The Rigging Bill removes exemptions that will allow a licensed master rigger with a minimum of 5 years documented experience to be replaced by a “competent person” with no more than a 32 hour training course and the most critical hoisting activities to be supervised by individuals with less training than a highly-trained rigger. The bill will also update the 1960s-era language which only requires licensed riggers for hoisting “tanks and boilers,” and instead stipulates that qualified riggers must hoist modern equipment such as generators, transformers and HVAC equipment weighing over one ton. The Cranes Bill will require that the city administer tests which exceed existing national standards, rather than for-profit companies, and that Class A and B crane operators must have a minimum of two years local New York City experience. The bills will now be referred to committee for hearing.
“Clearly Council Member Kallos and others in the council recognize the unique challenges of crane operations in New York City. This legislation will not only ensure the safety within our construction sites, but will protect the millions of men, women, children and families who live, work and travel within our city.” said IUOE Local 14 President Ed Christian.