Stop-start on crane rules

30 April 2008

Specialized carriers & rigging association (SC&RA) said progress by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on finalizing the new revised safety regulations for operations with cranes and derricks was “back on track” following warnings from SC&RA that delays could put lives and property at risk.

SC&RA wrote to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao on 24 February expressing disappointment at progress being made on the regulations, and said that more than eight months after the completion of the work by the Crane and Derrick Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee (C–DAC), OSHA had still to begin an economic analysis of the rule's economic impact or appoint a consultant to do the work.

Joel Dandrea, executive vice president, told ACT; “As a result of additional industry input to OSHA over the past two months, OSHA has informed us that their internal policy and economic benefit reviews are back on track. We're confident that rulemaking will proceed forward without unwarranted delays.”

Dandrea said SC&RA and other organizations had spent many hours throughout 2004 advancing the C–DAC rulemaking and that by early 2005 “we became somewhat concerned that OSHA was not moving the rulemaking according to the anticipated timeline.”

In its letter to Chao in February, SC&RA said delays would be a disservice to the industry; “Throughout our nation, lives and property will continue to remain at risk because of OSHA's inaction.”

The C–DAC committee met almost every month for a year to revise the cranes and derricks portion (1926.550) of 29 CFR part 1926 Subpart N–Cranes, Derricks, Hoists, Elevators and Conveyors safety regulation for construction crane operations before reaching a consensus on 9 July last year. SC&RA's C–DAC taskforce provided continual guidance and direction to the committee and a five–man SC&RA delegation presented public comments on the proposed regulations to the Labor Department on 7 July 2004.

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