Crane Laws and Regulations for Constructions Sites in NYC

Construction work is hard and dangerous, with many casualties happening every year. While the industry has come a long way regarding safety standards, accidents still occur. In New York, former Mayor Bloomberg implemented various new crane laws. 

These laws cover areas like stricter testing regulations and licensing, hoping to make crane operations safer for everyone involved. Better crane standards are a good thing, and New York City businesses and contractors need to know these new laws. 

We’ll explore these six laws in more depth and explain when to contact a New York City contractor for general insurance

Intro. 81-A

This first law stipulates that the Department of Buildings (DOB) must notify OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) about any potential construction code violations that can potentially endanger workers. 

Construction sites have many moving parts, and everyone needs to be on the same page. Council Member Rory I. Lancman believes that effective communication between the DOB and OSHA will prevent 33 fatal construction accidents over the next two years. 

Construction workers only account for 5% of New York’s workforce. Despite this small percentage, they also account for 27% of all fatalities.  

Intro. 1433-A

This law specifies that jobs must count every death or injury on a construction site, whether the victims are citizens or construction workers. The intention behind this law is to give OSHA and DOB better data. 

With this data, New Yorkers can precisely see how accidents occur, where, and why. The city will account for crucial aspects like: 

  • The contractors, including crane operators
  • The accident itself
  • The job itself and the working environment 
  • Hours worked 
  • Who was injured
  • If the injured party has any bargaining rights

This new crane law also stipulates daily fines of $1,000 for anyone who doesn’t report an incident. The fines can reach up to $25,000.


This new law addresses the operation of cranes. Class-B hoisting crane operators must obtain the necessary crane certifications to operate some special cranes. 


This section requires any contractor to have a construction superintendent for major projects. Per the city, a project qualifies as major when the building is over three stories. This new measure spreads safety supervision to 2,300+ sites at higher risk. 

Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, PE, notes that this law, alongside other safety bills signed into action, will further expand DOB’s regulations. 

Intro. 1421-A

Under this measure, specified cranes must have GPS or similar tracking devices. If cranes don’t have tracking devices, contractors must notify the DOB when they move off-site. 

Intro. 1435-A

This final new crane law requires certain cranes to have data-logging equipment. This data-logging equipment will record work conditions and overall operations. 

Other Crane Regulations NYC Crane Operators 

Since 2014, New York has implemented other strict regulations regarding crane operations. For example, the city stipulated that crane operators must pass a nationally accredited test. Alongside passing this exam, workers must update their licenses every five years. 

These stringent regulations attempt to curb crane-related fatalities, which are all too prevalent in New York City. Between 2008 and 2011, ten construction workers died from crane accidents. Five of these incidents happened in 2011 alone. 

What Can An Injured Worker Do Following an Incident? 

Legal avenues exist following an accident, whether the victim is a certified crane inspector or an entry-level construction worker. Generally, workers will first pursue workers’ compensation following an accident. 

This “no-fault” insurance structure helps workers recover while protecting their legal rights. Workers may receive compensation for: 

  • Lost wages or job rehabilitation
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering 
  • If the worker died, their family might be entitled to death benefits

Sometimes a worker or injured civilian may file a third-party claim. Usually, workers’ compensation prevents a worker from filing a claim against their direct employer. However, a property owner or subcontractor may file a lawsuit against a business. 

Accidents can happen even when a business strives to follow the latest regulations, including new crane laws. 

Call Our Team Today for Protection

To adapt to new laws and a growing industry, businesses and contractors need all the protection they can get. At TCE Insurance Services Inc., our independent agency can provide financial insurance for your operations. 

We specialize in many industries, including construction, crane, and rigging. We can craft a specialized plan for your business’s needs and ensure you comply with the latest crane laws. 

Staten Island, NY, residents can discover construction tips for winter by calling TCE Insurance Services Inc. at (718) 571-8385!