01/05/2006 - 05:00 am

Advisory Panel to Plan Miami Crane Inspection Program

One week after a crane collapsed in downtown Miami, killing one construction worker and wreaking havoc on traffic for days, a county commissioner announced that an advisory panel will be assembled to plan a program for mandatory local crane inspections, according to the Miami Herald.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson said her plan to assemble a panel of public and private-sector experts will include a study on what a local crane inspection program should look like, which will then take the best parts of laws in other states and cities and issue recommendations. “With a death, I think it's time that we all take it seriously and realize that terrible things can happen,” Edmonson told the Miami Herald.

Although there's no guarantee that more stringent regulations would have prevented the crane collapse or two other crane mishaps that occurred in Miami within the last year, the newspaper reported, some are suggesting more scrutiny inspection is in order because of the city's construction boom, which has led to an influx of cranes.

Within the United States, 13 states and large cities like New York and Los Angeles conduct periodic crane inspections, but neither Miami nor Florida have similar requirements. OSHA does random safety inspections of construction sites, but the federal organization does not examine each crane prior to its set up, which is something New York City's inspection process and the like includes.

If a crane inspection program is put in place in Miami-Dade County, it will cover downtown and the rest of the city of Miami, as well as heavy construction areas outside the city, such as Dadeland and Sunny Isles Beach. According to the Miami Herald, Edmonson said she hoped to have the first step — creating an industry panel — presented to fellow commissioners for approval within a month.

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