Date:  Mar 06, 2009

Press Release Number:  32


BUILDINGS DEPARTMENT AND PORT AUTHORITY ANNOUNCE CRANE SAFETY AGREEMENT FOR PORT AUTHORITY PROPERTIES IN NYC

Memorandum of Understanding Will Provide for City Oversight of Cranes at World Trade Center

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Chris Ward signed an agreement today that will create a new process to verify that any crane or derrick erected, dismantled, jumped, or operated on Port Authority properties in New York City conform to the safety standards set by the NYC Construction Codes and Department of Buildings (DOB) regulations.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the Port Authority has agreed to obtain DOB review and approval of a crane or derrick’s prototype before installing and operating it on a job site. In addition, a crane or derrick on Port Authority property will be subject to annual inspection by DOB’s Cranes and Derricks Unit. The Port Authority will issue a certificate of on-site inspection of a crane or derrick when they determine the equipment complies with all of the City’s technical and safety regulations before it is operated. The Port Authority will also ensure that only riggers and crane operators licensed by DOB will erect, dismantle, jump, and use a crane or derrick on their properties.

“This new agreement is a significant step forward in our efforts to ensure that all cranes are safely erected and operated in New York City,” Commissioner LiMandri said. “We look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership with the Port Authority on construction safety issues so New Yorkers are better protected than ever before.”

"The Port Authority is committed to the safety and security of workers at our job sites, including the World Trade Center,” said Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia. “This MOU is another tool we'll use to achieve our goal of an injury-free workplace."

“ Our job is to make the World Trade Center site, and all of our projects, safe for the workers and safe for the people who live and work around them,” said Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward. “This initiative will help us do that. I want to thank Commissioner LiMandri and the Department of Buildings for their continued partnership on this effort.”

There are currently 24 cranes at the World Trade Center site. The Port Authority is responsible for the oversight of the erection, dismantling, use and operation of cranes and derricks at their sites, but as part of this agreement, the Port Authority will provide certification to DOB that the cranes and derricks currently installed and being operated at these sites comply with the City’s technical and safety requirements. The Port Authority will regularly submit to DOB a report identifying all cranes and derricks at the World Trade Center Site.

The MOU signed today builds upon past agreements between the City and the Port Authority that were signed in 1993 and 2004. As part of this new agreement, the Port Authority will maintain a file for each crane and derrick and share those files with DOB upon request. The Port Authority will grant access to DOB Inspectors to conduct crane inspections, and if any violating conditions are found, DOB will issue a Letter of Deficiency that could include a Stop Work Order. The Port Authority has agreed to promptly correct violating conditions and to notify DOB in writing of corrective action taken within 72 hours of the letter of deficiency.

In the fall of 2007, a Working Group of City agencies, led by Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler, developed 33 recommendations after a comprehensive review of the regulation of construction, demolition and abatement operations, agency practices regarding enforcement and the way these operations are carried out in the field. The working group's full report is available at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/pr277-08_safety_report.pdf.

The MOU signed today is an important step towards fulfilling the recommendation that urges the City to enter into agreements with federal and state property owners to allow inspections by City agencies and assure code compliance so that these agencies have critical information about conditions at these properties that could affect public safety.

Contact:
Tony Sclafani / Kate Lindquist (DOB) (212) 566-3473
Candace McAdams/Steve Coleman (PA) (212) 435-7777