Federal Court rules that New York City statutes and regulations governing construction cranes are not preempted by OSHA regulations

In a 42-page opinion issued last week (copy below), Southern District Judge Colleen McMahon held that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act’s (“OSHA”) crane regulations did not preempt the New York City Building Code’s crane regulations (codified at Title 28 of the New York City Administrative Code).  According to the Court, OSHA “is a limited purpose statute” that “was intended to address primarily the relationship between employers and employees” and “was not intended to displace local public health and safety requirements – which is what the [New York] City Building Code is.”

(Incidentally, and apart from the merits of the case, counsel who appear before Judge McMahon would be well advised to read footnote 1, which contains a healthy reminder of what not to do when engaging in summary judgment practice before Her Honor.)

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