OSHA considering 1-year delay of new crane certification requirement
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is taking input from a panel of construction industry experts, who are reportedly split in their opinions, as to whether the agency should delay a mandatory crane operator certification requirement by one year, according to Bloomberg BNA.
- The rule, which is set to go into effect in November, requires operators be certified on both type of crane and lifting capacity, a point that has been met with some industry resistance.
- OSHA was originally set to issue clarification to the rule in late 2016, but it held off on doing so amid questions of how the new rule fits in with President Donald Trump's regulation reduction plans. This is also one of the reasons the agency is considering delaying the rule's implementation.
Just by virtue of size, cranes pose a special danger to work sites. Because of the volume of high-rise construction underway amid a booming building environment, New York City has become one of the central focal points for crane safety issues, as well as the location of several deadly crane accidents.
In March 2008, two crane accidents killed several people and revealed that, in one case, a crane inspector lied about performing a crane inspection days before a collapse. But it was a February 2016 collapse, which killed one pedestrian, that jump-started city efforts to revise its crane regulations.
The city implemented mandatory suspension requirements in wind-gust conditions of 30 mph or higher, and an advisory group, assembled by Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration, said the New York City Department of Buildings should also require newer cranes with anemometers, black boxes and GPS tracking capabilities to replace older ones.
This jump to implement tighter control of crane use in the city caused Building Trades Employers Association members to sue the DOB, arguing that the city was going "overboard" and claiming that the city did not solicit opinions from the industry.
Follow Kim Slowey on Twitter