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Washington Labor & Employment Wire » OSHA New Standard on Cranes and Derricks Now in Effect

OSHA New Standard on Cranes and Derricks Now in Effect


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OSHA’s new safety standard addressing the use of cranes and derricks in construction went into effect on November 9, 2010. Since the current standard was issued in 1971, the DOL has noted both a high number of fatalities associated with the use of cranes and derricks in construction and considerable technological advances in equipment. The final rule, published in the Federal Register on August 9, 2010, includes several provisions which have been modified from the proposed rule. The new standard is designed to address the key hazards posed by cranes and derricks on construction worksites, including the four main causes of worker death and injury: electrocution, crushed by parts of the equipment, struck-by the equipment/load, and falls.

Highlights of the new rule include the following requirements: a pre-erection inspection of tower crane parts; use of synthetic slings in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions during assembly/disassembly work; assessment of ground conditions; qualification or certification of crane operators; and procedures for working in the vicinity of power lines.Employers have up to four years to ensure that their operators are qualified or certified under one of the options set forth in section 1926.1427, unless they are operating in a state or city that has operator requirements. In addition, employers must pay for all required training and certification of equipment operators employed as of the effective date of the rule.

The Edison Electric Institute and the Association of American Railroads, two industry associations, filed petitions challenging the rule with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, respectively, last month. (Edison Elec. Inst. v. OSHA, D.C. Cir., No. 10-1311, petition for review filed 10/6/10; Ass’n of Am. Railroads v. OSHA, 3d Cir., No. 10-4006, petition for review filed 10/7/10). The Edison Electric Institute will be meeting with OSHA on November 19 to share its concerns with the new guidelines. The pending lawsuits are not expected to delay implementation of the rule’s requirements, but could affect the final contours of the rule. OSHA aims to release additional compliance assistance material within the next month.

A copy of the regulatory text is available here.