This month, in Cranes Today, we’re introducing a new column that looks at cranes from the point of view of expert operators. I’ll describe how to contribute to that at the end of this comment.

While we’re doing our small bit to support the industry’s focus on experience, it often feels like the wider world sees fit to ignore it. New York saw another fatal accident recently, when a crawler crane collapsed while being lowered in anticipation of high winds. One of the city’s first moves after the immediate response to the accident was to establish a working group to examine crane safety and recommend changes to regulations.

The city says it wants to take a sciencebased approach to safety. This is an admirable aim. In support of this, it has recruited some real experts: deans of engineering from schools at NYU and Columbia, an experience advisor to the city’s mayor, and the general secretary of the National Academy of Construction. Their expertise, from their own fields, will undoubtedly be valuable to the process. There is one place though where there appears to be a glaring gap in the crane safety working group’s experience: in cranes.

It’s an issue that has been taken up by US trade association, the SC&RA. Their executive vice president Joel Dandrea has written to New York mayor Bill de Blasio, saying, "There are many crane and rigging professionals working safely throughout the country who would be an asset to your technical working group.

"It’s important to remember and consider the real world aspects of crane operations which these professionals can share with the group." I hope that the mayor will think again, and listen to Dandrea’s advice.

To return to what we’re doing here to recognise experience, I’ll point you to our latest back page feature. As ever, we’ve focused in this piece on getting a direct industry perspective. The new column, The View from the Cab, gives space for an operator to describe a crane they’ve worked with. While we at Cranes Today know much of the industry well, and have a good seconhand view of what a crane operator needs, we can’t bring that level of experience to a crane review. If this were a mobile phone or car magazine, we might be able to tell you how the products we cover perform. We can’t, however, tell you what it’s like to set up and use a crane.

So, I was pleased when Eric Fox, of Northern Construction, got in touch to propose a review of his new LTR 1220. I’d welcome similar offers from other operators, and would be happy to help them put a review together.

Will North editor