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With the Crane and Derrick standard for construction being just under three years old since it was implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are several items that the construction industry is still waiting on OSHA to clarify with this new standard. Many parts of this standard took effect on Nov. 8, 2010, and, therefore, companies should be aware of the content and what it takes to be in compliance with the standard. One part that had a delayed implementation date was the requirement for crane operators to be qualified or certified, which had a Nov. 10, 2014, implementation date.
On May 22, 2013, OSHA announced their intent to extend the compliance date for crane operator certification requirements. This was done in part due to the feedback OSHA received at three stakeholder meetings held at the beginning of April. The stakeholder meetings were held in order for OSHA to obtain information from the public on two issues: 1) the usefulness of certifying operators for different capacities of cranes, and 2) the risks of allowing an operator to operate all capacities of cranes within a specific type.
Even with OSHA possibly delaying the full implementation of the crane operator certification/qualification requirements, Travelers still recommends that companies continue to pursue getting their crane operators certified or qualified. Travelers Risk Control continues to hold Professional Crane Operations courses across the country as part of our Safety Academy to assist our clients in preparing their crane operators for these exams. These courses are also good for management and safety personnel to attend to learn more about safe crane operations. View our Safety Academy Training Schedule.
In addition to this major announcement, there have been some other recent happenings in regards to the crane and derrick standard. These include clarifications, interpretations, and citations that have been issued, and even local emphasis programs focused on crane operations.
One clarification OSHA has issued deals with digger derricks and when they are exempt from the Crane and Derrick construction standards. This information was published in the Federal Register on May 29, 2013. Some work performed by digger derricks was already exempted from the new rule and this clarification just expands the digger derrick exemption to include all digger derricks used in construction work subject to 29 CFR 1926 subpart V. Read more on this topic.
For more information on the recent happenings with OSHA and their Crane and Derrick standard for construction, visit the OSHA website.
In other news related to cranes and rigging, the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators will soon release their Lift Director certification program. In the OSHA standard for Cranes and Derricks, 29 CFR 1926.1432, supplemental requirements when performing multiple crane/derrick lifts are addressed. This section requires, amongst other items, that a lift director be involved to review the lift plan requirements with the crew. Lift Directors are also addressed in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) volume B30.5 for mobile cranes and B30.3 for tower cranes.