OSHA Finally Issues Crane Safety Rule

US Department of Labor - News Release - July 28th, 2010

Occupational Safety and Health Administration has finally issued a comprehensive new rule that is designed to stem the recent string of deaths and injuries involving construction cranes.

The new rule was released on July 28th, and according to OSHA it will affect roughly 267,000 construction and crane rental companies and certification organizations that together employ about 4.8 million workers.

Most provisions of the new rule will take effect November 8, 2010. One key provision requiring that all construction-crane operators be certified will become effective in 2014. At that time, crane operators will be required to be certified for the type of equipment they are using, while other crane-related workers, including riggers, will have to be deemed "qualified."

OSHA estimates that the regulation will prevent 22 fatalities and 175 non-fatal injuries per year.

In addition, the regulation includes new mandates for working around power lines, as well as provisions dealing with synthetic slings, a product that was not in use when the previous crane rule was issued 40 years ago. The new regulation requires synthetic slings to be used in accordance with manufacturers' instructions, during assembly and disassembly. Another new requirement in the rule is that tower-crane parts will have to be inspected before the crane is erected.

More about this at OSHA, Department of Labor