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USGNN Original StoryCrane Safety of Paramount Importance for Contract Glaziers

In early 2003 the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) announced it would move forward with the negotiated rulemaking process to update its cranes and derricks standard. Now, more than five years later, the standard-which has not been revised since 1971--is still not done, and crane-related accidents and fatalities are becoming an increasing concern for construction-related associations, unions and contract glaziers.

Don Earnheart, national design vice president for Trainor Glass Co. in Dallas, says crane safety is a major concern for contract glazing companies

"We use cranes to lift our pre-glazed panels off our trucks and load them on floors. Safety issues with cranes are of paramount importance to our installation efforts," says Earnheart. "We certainly want safer cranes to ensure life safety issues for our employees as well as to eliminate potential damage to products."

As a result of recent accidents and fatalities, a number of legislators are taking action on the matter of crane safety. Just last week several senators, including New York's Hillary Rodham Clinton, called on the Bush administration jointly to issue new crane safety regulations.

"The tragic number of recent crane accidents in New York and elsewhere that have led to injury or death is sobering, and it is critical that we act immediately to protect the safety of workers and residents and prevent future tragedies," said Senator Clinton in a statement. "The regulations governing crane and derrick safety are antiquated and poorly enforced. I urge the [Bush] Administration to immediately issue the safety regulations it has withheld for four years and take steps to ensure that these regulations are enforced."

OSHA did not return's calls for comment.

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