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Mobile Crane Planning and Safety Requirements

1. Purpose and Requirements

  • Mobile cranes have a significant impact on University operations. To prevent incident(s) and to provide a safe and healthful environment to the Cornell Community the coordination, planning, and safety requirements identified in this procedure are to be utilized prior to the mobilization of a mobile crane on University property.

2. Scope

  • This Standard Operating Procedure applies to University managed operations and contractor-managed operations which require a mobile crane to perform work duties on University property. 

3. Responsibilities

  • For University managed operations, it is the responsibility of the Project Manager or equivalent to coordinate planning and safety requirements prior to and throughout mobilization.
  • For Contractor managed operations it is University Project Manager, Construction Manager, Project Coordinator or equivalent to coordinate planning and safety requirements with said Contractor prior to and throughout mobilization. 

4. Procedure Instruction

  • The following procedure in the form of a checklist establishes the minimum coordination, planning, and safety requirements for mobilizing a mobile crane on University property. Please note some coordination activities require a 10-day notification.
  • 4.1 Mobile Crane Mobilization Coordination and Planning Checklist


Coordinate all oversized load(s) with Cornell University Police Department (CUPD) for police escort. CUPD can be contacted by phone at 607-255-1111.
  • CUPD requires notification a minimum of 1 day prior to the crane’s anticipated arrival.
  • Arrival times of 7:45 - 9:00 AM and 3:00 - 5:30 PM should be avoided, as these are peak traffic hours on campus.
  • For more information visit the Cornell University Police Traffic Safety webpage.

Coordinate all parking lot, roadway, and sidewalk closures and or interruptions with Cornell Transportation. Contact Transportation’s Coordinator of Projects at 607-255-4600 or 

  • All impairments to Emergency Vehicle Access Lanes must be reviewed by the University Fire Marshal’s Office.
  • Ensure all Pedestrian and Traffic control measures are maintained throughout the duration of the Crane activities.
  • Transportation requires notification a minimum of 10 days prior to the Crane’s anticipated arrival.
  • Coordinate parking for additional vehicles with Cornell Transportation.

Survey the Assembly/Disassembly Area and Crane Pad location(s) for any underground utilities or other voids below the earth’s surface. Contact Cornell Facilities and Campus Services (FCS) Facilities Coordinator of Projects at 607-327-0635.

  • FCS requires notification a minimum of 10 days prior to the Crane’s anticipated arrival.

Submit a site-specific crane plan on behalf of the Contractor to Cornell Transportation’s Coordinator of Projects, University Fire Marshal’s Office, EHS OHSIP Safety Engineer, and the Contract College’s Code Enforcement Official if applicable. Plans should be submitted a minimum of 10 days prior to the crane’s expected arrival.

At a minimum the plan should include and identify:

  • Detailed description and aerial diagram of the crane’s scope of work.
  • Date of Crane Activities, Contractor(s) performing crane activities, Manufacture/Model of Crane, Contractor’s Assembly/Disassembly Director, Assembly/Disassembly Area, Crane Pad Location(s), Boom’s Swing Radius, Load’s path of travel, Occupant Control Measures, Pedestrian Control Measures, Traffic Control Measures, Schedule of items to be hoisted, their weight, and any other critical information specific to the crane activities.
  • Multiple crane sight scenarios.
  • A copy of the Contracted Crane Operators NYS Crane Operators License.
  • A copy of the Contractor’s Qualified Rigging and Signal Person training certificates.

The only exceptions where a crane plan is not required to be submitted are as follows:

  • The contractor’s crane activities have no impact on occupied building(s), thoroughfare(s), roadway(s), and or the Cornell community.
  • The lift is not over any occupied space(s). Crane’s activities must always be fully enclosed within the contractor’s site fencing.


  •  N/A


Is the lift over occupied space? ¹

When actively engaged in crane activities a crane’s load should never be hoisted, lowered, or swung over any occupied building. If a load must travel over an occupied building the top two floors where the load will travel must be vacated, or overhead protection with a design live load of 300 psf is provided, or another equally effective means. Please note;

  • Occupants would only have to clear the area(s) while a load is traveling over the occupied space(s).
  • The crane load’s path of travel dictates what areas are to be kept clear while the load is traveling.
    • This being said, you do not necessarily have to clear the entire floor, however, signage, contract employees, and or other equally effective means would have to be put in place to designate the restricted area(s) during overhead crane activities.
¹ Background:

NYS Department of Labor (DOL) requires the protection of persons passing by construction, demolition or excavation operations. NYS does not have specific regulations on how to protect building occupants during overhead crane activities. Therefore Cornell EHS and Contract College Code Enforcement Official have been advising University CM/PM to utilize NYC Department of Buildings crane regulations as guidelines to meet the intent of NYS’s code rule 23-1.33 Protection of persons passing by construction, demolition or excavation operations.

NYC Department of Buildings Code Rule 3319 (Q) (3) Moving the Load. (v) The operator shall not carry loads over people or over any occupied building unless the top two floors are vacated or overhead protection with a design live load of 300 psf is provided.

NYS DOL Code Rule 23-1.33 Protection of persons passing by construction, demolition or excavation operations. (a) Protection required. (1) Reasonable and adequate protection and safety shall be provided for all persons passing by areas, buildings or other structures in which construction, demolition or excavation work is being performed...