The new federal OSHA crane rule.” Just mentioning it can bring reactions ranging from mild awareness to confusion to total oblivion. How does this new law (Federal Law 29CFR1926.1400 Subpart CC), which went into effect Nov. 8, 2010, affect precasters? Do you need to comply with the new rule, and when is the deadline? As many precasters use straight boom and articulating boom trucks in delivering and setting products, let’s unpack this new law and put it into plain language. For a more detailed article, please visit the National Precast Concrete Association’s website at www.precast.org.
The new federal law requires:
• Mandatory training of your entire jobsite workforce on the steps and procedures when operating cranes in the proximity of energized power lines
• Mandatory training of your entire jobsite workforce on the hazards of working around cranes on the jobsite
• Qualified riggers with mandatory training and qualification of any persons who
– attach loads to the crane’s hook
– detach loads from the crane’s hook
– rig loads for cranes
• Qualified signal persons and spotters with mandatory training and qualification of any persons who provide signaling or spotting for maintaining clearances from overhead powerlines to or for the crane operators
• Certified or qualified crane operators with mandatory Crane Operator National Testing and Certification except for the equipment and tasks exempted from the certification requirement requiring operator training and qualification
• You operate a mobile crane at your facility (regardless of crane, load type or job type) but not in the act of construction
• You use an articulating crane with pallet forks (no hoist line) and place premade materials such as insulation, shingles or sheetrock on the jobsite or on the roof or in the window of the building on site (Note: to be exempt from the operator “certification” requirement, the articulating crane must have a functioning overload protection system; if you are using slings to hold the material on the crane hook and are delivering to the roof, through the window or below ground level, you must be a Certified Operator)
• You operate an articulating crane on a construction site, use slings to attach the load to the hook, and pick the load off the truck bed and place it directly on the ground next to the truck without arranging/positioning the load in a certain area or manner
• You operate any mobile crane on a construction site in a state that requires “qualification” immediately and does not require National Certification until the November 2014 deadline
Details on accomplishing Operator Qualification:
• You must pass both the written examination and a practical evaluation on the classification of crane you require through either the employer or a third party.
• Usually requires a pre-test study course to prepare for the written exams. This can be done either in-house or by a third party.
• Practical evaluations/exams can be done by either the employer or a third party.
• The employer must then agree that the craning skills/tasks required and the crane being used/operated is within the experience, training, testing, evaluation level and expertise of the operator.
The person must be “Qualified” to operate that crane classification for specific tasks.
• The employer or a third party shall issue proof of operator qualification of the crane classification the employee will be operating. The qualification should have an expiration date of no more than five years (some states require three-year expirations).
The new crane rule requires employers to train their workforce on designated topics and to ensure that persons doing specific jobs are now trained, tested, evaluated and “qualified” to do the correlating tasks. Crane operator certification or qualification, rigger qualification and signaling/spotting qualification requirements may require significant adjustments or additions to your company’s safety policy, rules and procedures. While the new crane rules seem confusing at first, once correctly complied with and implemented, they will be a very big step in developing a safer workplace for all workers.
Ron Overton is president of Overton Safety Training Inc., Aloha, Ore.
He is a certified NCCCO mobile crane operator and an accredited NCCCO mobile crane practical examiner. Overton is a member of the NCCCO Articulating Crane Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for
the Association of Crane and Rigging Professionals ACRP. Contact him
at (866) 531-0403 or [email protected], or visit