Crane and Derrick Safety Standard Up for Review Next Week
Long-awaited, proposed changes to the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration's (OSHA) crane and derrick safety standard will be
published next week. Beginning October 3, the public will have 60
days to submit comments. For those who work in the construction
industry these changes are critical, as a significant number of
crane-related fatalities and injuries have been reported in the
past year alone.
According to Michael McCann, director of safety research for the
Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), based in Silver
Spring, Md., in 2008 the number of crane-related fatalities and
injuries is substantial. He says through reading articles in different
publications and online research, he's found a total of 48 fatalities
and 91 injuries of construction workers, plus four fatalities and
two injuries of bystanders. So updating the OSHA crane and derrick
safety standard is critical.
"Most crane-related incidents are preventable," says
McCann. "One problem right now is the lack of training; only
15 states and three cities require certification for crane operators.
The OSHA standard would require certification for all."
In addition to operator certification, McCann says inspector certification
is important, too.
"Another problem is that cranes are complicated, so I think
there also needs to be certification of crane inspectors and that's
not in the OSHA standard currently," McCann says. "There's
also a need for detailed, thorough inspections into what caused
One of the biggest considerations concerning this OSHA standard
is that it was written in 1971. McCann says the cranes used today
are different than the ones used then, so much of the existing standard
"Also, some states started doing their own crane regulations
and that can be awkward when there are different regulations in
different states," says McCann.
The CPWR has been doing research into crane-related deaths in construction.
CLICK HERE to
Contract glaziers also have expressed concerns about the importance
of crane safety. CLICK
HERE to read more.
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