OSHA Is Still Working On Its New Crane and Derrick Standards

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

After a series of highly publicized crane accidents, OSHA is getting closer to implementing new and improved safety rules.

Last fall, OSHA issued proposed standards and the response was so overwhelming that OSHA extended the deadline until late January 2009 for the public to file its comments. Now, OSHA has scheduled informal hearings starting on March 17, 2009, to further discuss the proposed standards.

One of the more significant requirements OSHA proposes is that crane operators must be certified by an accredited testing agency or by an audited employer-run program. Furthermore, signal persons will also be subject to training and certification requirements.

While it is unknown what certification requirements will actually be implemented, OSHA and the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators ("NCCCO") currently have in place a Voluntary Agreement that might provide contractors a head start with respect to future compliance requirements. Under the Voluntary Agreement, a contractor's self-imposed requirement to use only certified crane operators by the NCCCO is an indication of the contractor's commitment to an "effective safety and health program."