Oregon OSHA Increases Tower Crane Inspections

Because of the number of recent tower crane failures and accidents across the country, Oregon's Occupational Safety and Health Division has initiated a tower crane emphasis program. Starting this month, the agency said it is increasing its focus to inspect more tower cranes at construction sites across the state.

The program is limited to tower cranes and does not cover mobile cranes. Inspectors will assess some of the following during inspections: crane operator qualifications, crane maintenance (manufacturer guidelines) and inspection records, and training records.

"We haven't had a deadly tower crane accident in Oregon in more than two decades, which is fortunate," said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. "However, we want to ensure that employers are fulfilling their responsibility to inspect cranes and ensure operators are properly trained."

Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, said it will evaluate the program's effectiveness and findings in July 2009. The scope of an inspection may be expanded to address unrelated hazards if they pose a serious danger, the agency noted.

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