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The construction industry is gearing up to carry out one of the most important federal safety actions in years: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration?s overhaul of its 39-year-old standard governing cranes and derricks.
OSHA, which is part of the Dept. of Labor, says its final crane-safety regulation, released July 28 and to be published in the Federal Register on Aug. 9, will affect about 267,000 certification organizations and construction and crane-rental companies that altogether employ 4.8 million workers.
The first key date is Nov. 8, when most of the regulation?s provisions take effect. One significant exception to that deadline is the new requirement that all construction-crane operators are to be certified for the equipment they run. That provision goes into effect in 2014.
There is much to digest in the revised ?Cranes and Derricks in Construction? standard. The 1,070-page document replaces a 1971 regulation and is ?long overdue,? says Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, whose agency started work on the rule back in 2003.
The wide-ranging update includes provisions dealing with products that emerged over the past four decades. It also focuses on sectors, such as crane operations near power lines, where the largest number of construction-crane deaths has occurred. Construction industry and union officials welcomed the new rule, but say that follow-up OSHA guidance will be needed to address questions about certain provisions.
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