Oregon OSHA Adopting New Cranes Standard Feb. 9

The agency is keeping its crane operator safety training rule in force for now and adopting a new rule requiring workers to use fall protection when they are on a crane’s unguarded walking/working surface and more than 10 feet above a lower level.

The February 2011 issue of Oregon OSHA's Resource newsletter brings construction companies working in the state up to speed about OR-OSHA’s adoption of most of federal OSHA’s cranes and derricks rule. And just in time: The adoption takes place Feb. 9. Oregon runs its own state plan, and thus had six months to adopt the federal standard or create a new rule that is just as effective. Writing in the issue, Ellis Brasch explains what the state is adopting and how its rule differs from federal OSHA's.

The federal standard covers the causes of typical crane-related accidents, such as:

  • Contacting an overhead power line
  • Exceeding the rated lifting capacity
  • Operating on unstable ground
  • "Two-blocking" failure (caused when a crane's hook contacts the boom tip, causing the hoist line to break)
  • Striking a worker in the crane's work zone
  • Striking an object because an operator's, rigger's, or signaler's vision is blocked

"Those of you who don't do construction work with cranes or derricks can relax because these rules don't apply to you. But if you use any power-operated equipment for construction work 'that can hoist, lower, and horizontally move a suspended load,' that equipment and the operators may be covered by Subpart CC. Cranes and Derricks in Construction runs the length of a short novel but don't save it for bedside reading. Understanding how to comply with the standard's new rules can be challenging," Brasch writes.

He said OR-OSHA will have a publication available by mid-April that explains key requirements, including ground conditions, power line safety, operator certification requirements, and qualifications for riggers and signal persons. While the new standard requires most crane operators to be certified before they can operate a crane on their own and gives them four options for being certified, that requirement takes effect Nov. 10, 2014. Brasch said OR-OSHA in the interim will retain its crane operator safety training rule (437-003-0081), which requires operators to be trained and to have a valid operator's training card if they operate cranes of five-ton capacity or greater. OR-OSHA changed the fall protection requirements in the new standard and adopted a new rule, Fall protection (437-003-1423), requiring workers to use fall protection when they are on a crane's unguarded walking/working surface and more than 10 feet above a lower level.

For more information about Subpart CC in Oregon OSHA’s Proposed Changes to Cranes and Derricks in Construction, visit this page.

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