OSHA releases final rule on cranes and derricks

OSHA on Wednesday released the highly anticipated final rule (.pdf file) that will significantly update its standard on cranes and derricks in construction for the first time in nearly 40 years.

The rule's release comes after more than a decade of efforts to amend the standard, which some stakeholders asserted had not kept pace with changing and developing technologies.

Approximately 89 people are killed each year in crane-related construction incidents, according to OSHA. The agency estimates the new rule will prevent 22 deaths annually. "We think it's a big step forward in saving the lives of workers, and also passersby," OSHA administrator David Michaels said during a media briefing on Wednesday.

Among the major changes:

  • Crane operators must be certified.
  • The standard does not pre-empt local or state certification requirements.
  • Tower crane parts are required to be inspected before erection.
  • New procedures for working in the vicinity of power lines are included.
The final rule is expected to be published Aug. 9 in the Federal Register, and is scheduled to go into effect Nov. 8.

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