OSHA to enact temporary policy for proximity alarms in cranes and derricks standard

Washington – OSHA will be enacting a new temporary enforcement policy regarding the use of proximity alarms and insulating links while using cranes and derricks near power lines.

Under the Cranes and Derricks Standard (.pdf file) – which was revised two years ago – employers may use such devices near power lines provided the devices have been approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.

However, OSHA has not recognized any labs to perform required testing for the devices, so no devices have been approved. As such, employers may not exclusively rely on any proximity alarm or insulating link to comply with the requirements found in the standard, the agency stated.

Under the new policy, employers may instead use an alarm or link in conjunction with additional measures, including using a “dedicated spotter” or insulating workers from equipment. If these additional measures are used in accordance with OSHA rules, no citation may be issued.

The policy is effective between July 26, 2012, and Nov. 8, 2013. It was announced in a June 25 memo written by Jim Maddux, director of OSHA’s Directorate of Construction.

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