Derrick on a New Construction SiteNumerous construction workers suffer crane injuries every year, many of them fatal. Our New York construction injury lawyers explain state regulations to protect workers on mobile cranes and derricks and what to do if an employer violates these rules.

NY Industrial Code Provisions for Cranes and Derricks on Construction Sites

NY Labor Law 241 requires owners and contractors to make construction sites as safe as possible for workers. Under Section 241(6), owners and contractors must comply with any rules made by the Commissioner of the Department of Labor to carry out the provisions of the law.

The Department of Labor has created specific construction safety rules in Part 23 of the New York Industrial Code to protect people employed in construction, demolition, or excavation work. N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. Tit. 12 § 23-8.1 set forth the following general provisions for cranes and derricks:

  • Stability and strength. Mobile cranes, tower cranes, and derricks must have firm footings and be placed and operated to be stable. No component or part of a crane or derrick may be stressed beyond the manufacturer’s rated capacity.
  • Inspection. A competent, designated employee must inspect all mobile cranes, tower cranes, and derricks before being operated for the first time on any job. Inspections must include blocks, shackles, sheaves, wire rope, connectors, hooks, controls, braking mechanisms, and the various devices on the mast or boom. A written, dated, and signed record of each inspection must be posted inside the cab of the crane or derrick or filed in an office on the job site available for examination by the commissioner.
  • Maintenance. Adjustments and repairs to cranes and derricks may be made only by competent, designated persons. A preventive maintenance program meeting the manufacturer's recommendations must be in place for each device, and detailed maintenance records must be available on the job site for examination by the commissioner.
  • Brakes and locking devices. Every power-operated crane and derrick must have hoisting mechanism brakes capable of sustaining at rest one and one-half times the maximum rated load on a single part line. Hand or foot-operated brakes must be provided with a substantial locking device to lock brakes in engagement, and pedals of foot-operated brakes must have nonslip surfaces or be constructed so that the operators' feet cannot easily slip off.
  • Power-controlled lowering devices. Any powered lowering devices must be capable of handling rated loads and speeds to provide precision lowering and reduce demands on the brake loads, except mobile cranes with a clamshell or dragline used in excavation. Electrically-driven cranes and derricks must be equipped with devices that automatically hold the loads in cases of power failure.
  • Load handling. If slings are used to hoist material of extended length, spreader bars shall be used to space and keep the sling legs in proper balance. Items that cannot be easily secured to form safe drafts or loads shall be hoisted in boxes. Hoisting ropes for concrete buckets must be provided with safety hooks or closed shackles. No more than one load at a time may be suspended from the same load line, and no load may be more than the rated capacity of the crane or derrick.
  • Before hoisting. An inspection must be made before hosting to ensure that the hoisting rope is free from kinks, multiple part lines are not twisted around each other, the hook is positioned so that the load will not swing, the load is well-secured and properly balanced in the sling or lifting device, and any hosting rope is seated correctly on the drum and in the sheaves.
  • During hoisting. Loads may not contact any obstruction during hoisting. Loads may not hoist, lower, swing, or travel while any person is located on the load or hook. The operator of the crane or derrick must not leave the controls while any load is suspended, nor shall any person be permitted to work or pass under a stationary suspended load.
  • Guards. Exposed moving components or parts such as gears, set screws, projection keys, chains, chain sprockets, and reciprocating parts that might constitute a hazard must be guarded. All guards must be securely fastened in place and be capable of supporting without permanent distortion the weight of a 200-pound worker.
  • Concrete work. If mobile cranes are moving concrete, any loads raised to elevations more than 150 feet must be deposited or discharged only in hoppers or other appropriate facilities which permit the operation of the crane boom at a minimum load radius.

Learn Your Options After a New York Construction Injury

If you or someone you love was seriously hurt by a crane on a construction site, contact the attorneys at Hofmann and Schweitzer as soon as possible. Call us today at 800-362-9329 to have us explain your next steps at no cost to you, or read our FREE guide, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.


Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.