New York Legislation: Crane Inspections: In light of a number of recent crane accidents in New York, the State legislature has enacted a new law aimed at ensuring integrity in crane inspections. The law, which becomes effective November 1, 2008, has two different prongs: one aimed at someone impairing the inspection licensing process; and the other applicable to the licensed crane inspector himself.

The new law makes it a crime to impair “the integrity of a government licensing examination, when with the intent to obtain a benefit for himself, . . .” he engages in certain acts. These include the alteration of the applicant’s grade on the licensing exam; causing a false grade to be entered in the government registry; providing “answers, with an intent to wrongfully benefit another, to current questions on a pending government licensing examination”; or providing an applicant with a copy of the current test. In other words, the law has made it a felony to assist in cheating in the inspection licensing process.

The other new provision of the law is aimed at those who have already been licensed. That section provides for a civil penalty and revocation of a license for an inspector who willfully: fails to inspect a crane for which he submitted a report; falsifies an inspection report; makes material misstatements or omission on a report; or accepts a bribe. However, before the penalties can be assessed the inspector has the right to a “hearing on the merits” with regard to these allegations. The law specifically states that the civil penalty is not the exclusive remedy, and that it will not bar criminal prosecution.

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