OSHA, electrical group reach agreement on cranes and derricks rule

September 14, 2011

Washington – OSHA on Aug. 24 reached a settlement agreement with the Edison Electric Institute to exempt digger derricks used to install electric power transmission and distribution lines from OSHA's new cranes and derricks standard.

Published in July 2010, the updated version of the cranes and derricks rule (.pdf file) includes certification requirements for crane and derrick operators and procedural rules for working around power lines.

In October of last year, Washington-based EEI challenged OSHA in court, arguing for an exception for digger derricks and other equipment that electric utility companies use to set up power transmission lines.

Under the agreement, OSHA must begin a rulemaking to exempt all digger derrick operations covered by Subpart V. Within 60 days, OSHA has to issue a letter of interpretation to EEI clarifying voltage information exchange requirements and that utility companies do not have to de-energize power lines.