Extends Comment Period on Crane and Derrick Proposed Rulemaking
William Rapetti, the master rigger on the 200-foot-high tower crane
that collapsed and killed seven people last March in New York City,
was indicted yesterday on multiple charges of manslaughter, criminally
negligent homicide, assault and reckless endangerment (CLICK
HERE to read more).
Given the number of cane-related accidents that have occurred in
the past few years, such as the one last March in New York City,
the Occupational Safety and Health Administrations (OSHA)
current efforts to revise its 1971 cranes and derricks ruling are
timely. In early 2003 OSHA had announced it would move forward with
the negotiated rulemaking process to update its cranes and derricks
standard, but after five years little work had been done.
Then on October 9, 2008, OSHA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
titled Cranes and Derricks in Construction, which addresses
the key hazards associated with construction cranes and derricks
According to the proposed ruling, employers would first determine
whether the ground is sufficient to support the anticipated weight
of hoisting equipment and associated loads. The employer then would
be required to assess hazards within the work zone that would affect
the safe operation of hoisting equipment, such as those of power
lines and objects or personnel that would be within the work zone
or swing radius of the hoisting equipment. Finally, the employer
would be required to ensure that the equipment is in safe operating
condition via required inspections and employees in the work zone
are trained to recognize hazards associated with the use of the
equipment and any related duties that they are assigned to perform.
The period for submitting written comments has been extended to
January 22 in order to allow parties, including contract glaziers,
more time to review the proposed rule and collect information and
data necessary for comments.
And for contract glaziers, safety is of paramount importance when
it comes to working on the jobsite.
In Chicago we have not seen many crane accidents, but nationally
there have been many issues, says Robert Martin, president
of Arcadia Products Inc. in Northbrook, Ill. Safety is absolutely
our number-one concern. Our employees are our greatest asset and
so safety in the field is a significant factor.
Martin says in order to ensure employees are safe, his company
follows a specific, written safety program.
We also have weekly safety meetings and focus on safety training
One means companies may look to when in comes to crane safety is
OSHAs recently launched National Crane Safety Initiative,
which addresses safety hazards during construction crane operation.
The initiative is designed to raise awareness on crane safety and
increase enforcement of the current standards, including launching
local emphasis programs in a number of regions to inspect high-rise
construction, stakeholder outreach and additional training on crane
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