Equipment Manufacturers to OSHA: Act Now on Crane Safety Standards

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers has urged the U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA to act now for timely completion of new crane safety standards that have been in development since 2003. AEM President Dennis Slater sent a letter to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and OSHA Assistant Secretary Edwin Foulke asking the department to "expedite the approval process and give this safety initiative the full attention it deserves."

Slater noted that AEM and its members "fully support the actions of the Department of Labor and OSHA in developing a new and comprehensive Crane Safety Standard that would replace the current 30 year old lifting regulations (29 CFR 1926.550) and update the safety requirements needed in the crane industry." He added: "OSHA and AEM are both dedicated to achieve the same goal, safer crane operation, and this Standard is a vital part of that process. AEM stands ready to offer any assistance needed to complete this effort."

AEM is both frustrated and disappointed that two years have passed since the proposal went to OSHA and yet the proposed changes to the Crane Safety Standard have not advanced to the public comment stage, Slater wrote. "We understand the governmental requirements and process that have to be followed, but this unending delay is totally unacceptable," he wrote.

The Milwaukee-based assocation noted it has been actively involved in the federal committee addressing the crane safety standard. The association was represented on OSHA's Crane and Derrick Advisory Committee (CDAC) by two manufacturing members, who devoted substantial time each month for a year to develop the draft standard, it said. AEM held monthly teleconferences in which these members conferred with other members of the AEM Power Crane and Shovel Association (PCSA) to develop consensus opinions to relay to the CDAC committee. AEM has a long-standing commitment to such collaborative safety efforts with entities inside and outside of government, the association said.

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