Cranes and Derricks Standard to Be Published Oct. 3

Keep an eye on the Federal Register, because the long-awaited cranes and derricks standard is about to be published by OSHA, according to a news release posted Sept. 18 by the U.S. Labor Department. The rule probably will be published Oct. 3, according to a DOL Web page linking to the text.

Construction interests, some members of Congress, and some members of the negotiated rulemaking panel that drafted the rule have pushed for its completion. The draft text is 1,110 pages long, however. The preamble OSHA had to write to explain the purpose and application of the standard is almost 1,000 pages long, according to the DOL notice.

Members of committee received an advance copy of the preamble for review as part of their role in the negotiated rulemaking, the notice states.

DOL's notice says the standard, once finalized, will apply to an estimated 96,000 construction cranes in the United States, including 2,000 tower cranes. It addresses ground conditions, assembly and disassembly of cranes, the operation of cranes near power lines, certification and training of crane operators, use of safety devices and signals, and crane inspections. It significantly updates existing tower crane requirements and  will create four options for qualification or certification of crane operators: (1) certification through an accredited third-party testing organization, (2) qualification through an audited employer testing program, (3) qualification issued by the U.S. military, and (4) qualification by a state or local licensing authority. The text is available at http://www.osha.gov/doc/proposedrule/Cranes_Derricks_Proposed_Rule.html.

"The cranes and derricks proposed rule comprehensively addresses the hazards associated with the use of cranes and derricks in construction, including tower cranes," Edwin Foulke Jr., OSHA's leader, said in the notice. "This draft rule will both protect construction employees and help prevent crane accidents by updating existing protections and requiring crane operators to be trained in the use of construction cranes."

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