Local Law 11 – Safety While Operating At Heights

Local Law 11

We have got used to the urban landscapes with high-rise buildings and skyscrapers and few of us think on the safety issue of this jungle. Are those facades really safe? Local Law 11 was created with this very purpose – to regulate the safety of modern structures with help of special inspection.

Local Law 11 of New York

For New York it’s already quite a norm to know Local Law 11 by heart. Especially for those who owns property, lives in many-storeyed buildings and reside in condominiums. The Law relates to buildings taller than six stories. According to its provisions, each building façade with more than 6 stories has to go through inspection every 5 years. The right to carry out the inspection belongs to a licensed architect or engineer. The core idea of the Law is to make high-rise buildings safe for pedestrians and adjacent structures. Components of facades may cause traumas and even fatal injuries to innocent people walking by.

Local Law 11 was born following the sad accidents involving bystanders who had suffered from falling façade elements. The Law was initiated by the New York City authorities in 1980 when a piece of terracotta falling from a building killed a young man on the Upper West Side. However, the first law regulating the issue was Local Law 10. When the government of the city realized that it has some weak points, it came with the new stricter version of the law – LL11.

Each material used for making a façade has its own technical features, this is why the process of technical evaluation is also special for stone, brick, glass and other types of walls. The environmental conditions also affect the quality of facades and make them deteriorate:

  • temperature deferential between summer and winter;
  • air pollution caused by traffic and heating systems;
  • salt and corrosion – caused by the proximity of the sea.

Under LL11 professional engineers and architects inspect signs, windows, air conditioners, lighting fixtures and other types of appurtenances attached to the facades that may be potentially hazardous for passers-by and other street structures. Missed inspection deadlines are punished with penalties. Completed jobs are confirmed with reports.

Truck mounted boom lifts to reach high facades

To avoid penalties and prevent accidents, it is necessary to carry out inspection jobs on time. The areas exposed to the wind, sun and smokestack influence need attention and maintenance first. In those cases, where scaffold cannot be used in the absence of hooks on the parapet, property owners need to use boom trucks. In fact, 90% of all inspections under Local Law 11 are made with truck mounted boom lifts. It is much more convenient than bringing scaffolding into the building, and it does not require many people to be involved. Besides, opting for aerial platforms, you don’t have to go into people’s apartments or out on their balconies to arrange the process. The job becomes more efficient, safe and fast.

The most popular type of equipment rented for LL11 inspections is 150 foot boom lift. It is light, compact, versatile in terms of the uses – undoubtedly perfect for almost any city work. You can always rent one at Alpha Platforms at the best price.

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The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide in the widest sense – through providing technical advice and information; through influencing and interpreting legislation and standards; and through safety initiatives and training programmes. IPAF is a not-for-profit organisation owned by its members, which include manufacturers, rental companies, distributors, contractors and users. IPAF members operate a majority of the MEWP rental fleet worldwide and manufacture about 85% of platforms on the market.
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