In a year that OSHA can’t seem to enforce any new rules, it appears to have found a way to remove a rule from its books. As announced last week, OSHA has removed monorail hoists from Subpart CC – Cranes and Derricks in Construction. Employers are still required to follow other OSHA regulations regarding the hoists, but this rule should help clear up some inconsistencies.
In the press release, OSHA stated that the change was due to comments from those in the industry that mobile hoists operate much differently from cranes and derricks, as they don’t rotate, swing, or boom beyond the mounting equipment.
Because of the change in policy, OSHA will no longer cite employers for not following portions of Subpart CC with regards to monorail hoists. Employers will still be responsible for complying with the following standards:
- 29 CFR 1926.554 (Overhead hoists) - requires the use of outriggers and supports, if required by the manufacturer
- 29 CFR 1926.21 – requires that operators are properly trained
- 29 CFR 1926.20(b)(4) – makes sure the employer has verified the operator has been properly trained
- Any other applicable standard, if the monorail hoist is mounted on equipment, such as work vehicles, utility trailers, or scaffolding systems.
“This enforcement policy is a commonsense approach to addressing industry concerns while also ensuring workers are protected,” said Dean McKenzie, director of OSHA’s Directorate of Construction said in the press release.
Last November, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. announced felonious assault charges against a contractor’s superintendent and a manufacturer’s branch manager after two men suffered horrific injuries on a New York jobsite. Last week, OSHA formally announced citations against the St. Louis, Missouri based contractor.
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Just over a year ago, in September of 2017, Hurricane Irma blew through Miami, Florida, bringing extremely high speed wind with it. The wind caused 3 cranes to collapse in southern Florida, 2 in downtown Miami and 1 more in Ft. Lauderdale. Interesting video of the dismantling of one of the failed cranes was shared on Youtube.
In September of 2017, OSHA’s new standard on exposure to respirable crystalline silica went into effect in the construction industry. The rule lowered the allowable exposure to the harmful substance to 50 micrograms per cubic meter, a measurement that we’re all familiar with [/sarcasm]. After a full year of enforcement, OSHA is considering making a change to the rule.