On Tuesday, June 20, OSHA is set to propose a delay on new requirements for cranes and derricks in the construction industry at a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH).
According to the published agenda on the Federal Register, OSHA plans to delay enforcement on both the crane operator certification requirement and extend the existing requirement that employers ensure that crane operators are trained and competent enough to operate the equipment until November 10, 2018.
While the requirement that crane operators receive appropriate certifications to operate the machine on construction sites has been in the OSHA standards (1926.1427) since 2010, the enforcement of the rule has seen several delays. Construction Equipment states that a 3 year extension was granted in 2010 and another 3 year extension after the first expired pushed the enforcement date back to November of 2017.
According to a press release issued by OSHA in 2014, “After publishing the final rule, a number of parties raised concerns about the Standard's requirement to certify operators by type and capacity of crane and questioned whether crane operator certification was sufficient for determining whether an operator could operate their equipment safely on a construction site.”
The lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure has been one of the critical elements of electrical safety training on construction sites for a decade. Generally, it’s pretty simple: if you need to work on an energized circuit or piece of equipment, shut down the breaker, put a lock on it so no one can turn it back on, and place a tag on it with your information. OSHA is considering updating the standard now and is currently requesting information from interested parties.
As the United States just recently suffered another tragic and deadly construction incident involving civilians after a crane collapsed in Seattle over the weekend, we’re reminded that the bridge collapse on FIU’s campus in Miami in early 2018 still has many unanswered questions.
For the past 3 years, Seattle, Washington has had the most construction cranes out of any United States city. But, as we know, from various videos and news stories, a crane collapse can have absolutely devastating consequences. On Saturday, a crane collapsed in downtown Seattle onto an open road below, killing two construction workers, 2 pedestrians, and injuring several others in the process.
All trench collapse deaths are preventable. As soon as everyone on a job site starts believing that we might actually make some progress. In just the past 10 days, there have been 4 trench collapse deaths across 3 separate incidents, further highlighting how far we still need to go.
Falls on the jobsite is the leading cause of injuries and fatalities in construction. Keeping up with housekeeping on your site is a great way to reduce risks of falls, but other protections, like rebar caps should be installed when rebar is exposed. A young construction worker recently found out the hard way what happens when rebar is left exposed.
On April 3, a congressional appropriations hearing was held to discuss the U.S. Department of Labor’s Federal funding for fiscal year 2020. During the hearing, the secretary of Labor, R. Alexander Acosta, told the committee how OSHA plans to spend their budget and how the agency fared in the previous year.
Safety training in the construction industry is necessary to build worker awareness – not to mention that it’s legally required – but it can be extremely time consuming and expensive to have completed. There are many companies out there looking to make money off of keeping workers safe, which is why it’s great when a company offers training free of charge, like Procore’s Safety Qualified program.
Cranes collapsing on-site are serious business, especially since many of them resulted in the loss of life. A recent crane collapse on a construction site in Alpharetta, GA was caught on camera after it caught fire, but luckily no one was injured.