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USGNN Original StoryOnline Database of Crane Repairs and Inspections Could Mean Safer Jobsites
July 10, 2009

For many people involved in the construction industry it's tough to forget the numerous crane-related accidents that occurred in 2008. Numerous people were killed and injured March 15, 2008, when a crane collapsed on Manhattan's East Side (CLICK HERE for related article). Just two months later another crane collapsed in New York City, killing two people and damaging an apartment building on Manhattan's Upper East Side—only a day after city officials had investigated the crane's operations (CLICK HERE for related article). In addition to the New York crane accidents, a crane plummeted 30 floors into a Miami home, killing two people in March of 2008 (CLICK HERE for related article).

A new resourse was launched recently that could help avoid crane-related tragedies. Frank Bardonaro, president and chief operating officer of Philadelphia-based AmQuip Crane Rental, and Tower Crane Safety chairman for the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, has developed CraneFacts.com, the nation's first database for tracking major crane components. The site, which is available to anyone in the world, is designed to provide crane rental companies, contractors and subcontractors, government organizations, OEM's and other organizations with a complete history of any crane that is listed on the site. Each registered crane rental company will be able to log in and register whichever cranes they would like to make available to their clients and others. The serial number based system will enable the company to immediately post the entire maintenance history of the crane as well as all inspections pertaining to the particular machine.

The site will establish certain criteria to be used in order to determine a "reportable and major" repair that will allow tracking of critical components. The new site will also provide data to track all types of cranes, not just tower cranes.

"Safety has always been the most important issue in the crane rental industry," says Bardonaro. "As most people know, the crane and rigging companies all over the world continuously strive for safety improvements with a zero incident and zero injury goal.

While several politicians have tried to implement new regulations on a local level, the industry is working feverishly on a daily basis to help develop standardized safety processes that are consistent throughout the country. If the CraneFacts.com site is successful in helping to develop these tracking and standardized reporting processes, then I feel we will have accomplished something that helps everyone associated with the industry and provides the public with a greater sense of security when cranes are working in and around their towns," stated Bardonaro.

The site, which will ultimately enable all crane users to instantly comply with any state or city reporting requirement, could also be useful for contractors and subcontractors, as well as other end users. It will allow, for example, contract glaziers to instantly get a history of the crane being delivered to their jobsite to ensure that the crane has been properly maintained throughout its useful life. It will provide information for used crane sales and also establish reporting procedures that could help further deveop the crane rental industry.

Bill McDevitt, the administrator of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Labor Management Cooperation Initiave, says he thinks the new website will be a great benefit for the contract glazing industry.

"The site gives you first-hand information about the job and it will be a great tool to see where the crane has been used and how well it was maintained so it can help decrease the chances of an accident occurring," says McDevitt. "When you have a safe jobsite, especially when you are loading glass crates up several stories, you want to know that the crane is [safe] to operate."

McDevitt adds, "This can also help the glass companies grow their bottom lines because when they are on a job without accidents, it makes them more competitive on the next job site."

CLICK HERE to read a related USGNN.com™ crane safety article.

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