Boston-Area Contractors Turn Out En Masse for Crane Safety Training

More than 90 Bay State contractors and safety professionals recently received crane safety training under the auspices of an alliance between OSHA and the Construction Safety Roundtable of Eastern Massachusetts. The training was designed to help contractors understand and identify the hazards involved with the assembly and disassembly of construction tower cranes.

A panel of OSHA and contractor representatives outlined the criteria and documentation needed in the selection of a tower crane versus a mobile crane or other equipment; identified and discussed the various federal, state, and industry standards covering tower cranes; and reviewed and discussed the hazards associated with different types of tower cranes. A "lessons learned" segment used real-life examples of successful crane operations as well as accidents to facilitate discussion and analysis and reinforce the importance of proper crane operations.

"The sizable turnout for this session was encouraging because it showed that many contractors in the greater Boston area understand the importance of crane safety and want to ensure that crane operations are properly and safely conducted," said Brenda Gordon, OSHA's area director in Braintree, Mass.

The training was conducted as part of an ongoing alliance between OSHA's Braintree and Methuen, Mass., area offices and the roundtable, an organization of eastern Massachusetts construction contractors. The alliance holds monthly meetings through which contractors, regulators, and safety professionals use training, assistance, and productive discussion to help contractors, employees, and trainees better identify, reduce, and eliminate construction-related hazards.

"The roundtable's membership has grown from 47 in 2003 to 132 members today," Gordon said. "That speaks to the dedication of the roundtable's steering committee and the membership's commitment to improving safety."

The tower crane training was held Sept. 9 at Local 4 Operating Engineers Training Facility in Canton, Mass., and was organized by the roundtable and sponsored by Gilbane Builders. In attendance were safety directors from union and non-union companies, insurance representatives, union apprenticeship directors, safety consultants, attorneys, and the safety consultation service of the Massachusetts Department of Labor's Division of Occupational Safety.

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