The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recently released a compliance guide to help small construction businesses adhere to an important new rule for the use and operation of cranes and derricks. The new standard, Cranes and Derricks in Construction, was introduced in August of 2010, and had not been updated since it was first issued in 1971. Since then, there have been a large number of deaths and injuries related to cranes and derricks and also significant technological improvements to the cranes, both of which the new standard aims to address. It is estimated that crane and derrick accidents are the cause of approximately 22 fatalities and 175 injuries per year.
The compliance guide that was released on Tuesday, March 8, 2011, aims to help smaller businesses understand the changes and adhere to the new standard in order to promote a safer work environment for the construction industry. Some of the updated requirements include inspections of crane parts before they are assembled and assessment of ground conditions. The guide also outlines the new requirements which include, but are not limited to:
• Crane operators will need to be officially qualified or certified as of November 10, 2014.
• Clearance distances from power lines and to protect workers against electrocution hazards.
• Use of synthetic slings when climbing tower cranes and other assembly activities, and use of approved riggers, to ensure the structural stability.
• The new standard includes equipment that was not covered or had very few requirements in the prior standard, such as floating cranes.
Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, said “Over the past four decades, we’ve continued to see a significant number of worker injuries and deaths from electrocution, crushed-by and struck-by hazards while performing cranes and derricks operations…This guide will help employers understand what they must do to protect their workers from these dangerous, sometimes fatal incidents.” For the complete guide, visit OSHA’s Small Entity Compliance Guide for Final Rule Cranes and Derricks in Construction.
If you have been injured while working on a construction site or have a question about a case, feel free to contact one of our experienced attorneys for a free consultation.
OSHA issues guidance document to help small businesses comply with cranes and derricks rule, OSHA Trade News, March 8, 2011
Contact the Massachusetts work injury lawyers at Altman & Altman if you have been injured on the job.