August 4, 2008 The Pump Handle 0Comment

On July 28, five representatives of the crane industry met with OMB OIRA, including several who were members of the OSHA Neg/Reg committee, to press OMB to complete its review of the agency’s proposed rule on cranes and derricks.  The existing OSHA rule dates back to 1971.  Efforts to update the crane safety standards began in 2003 when a negotiated rulemaking (Neg/Reg) committee was appointed and given just 1 year to complete its work.  Since then the draft proposal has languished at OSHA and with Secretary Chao, until it was finally sent on June 17 for final White House scrutiny.  This meeting with crane industry representatives who support the improved safety standards, including certification of crane operators, follows on the heels of a June 26 meeting by reps of the National Association of Home Builders (previous TPH post) who are apparently seeking exemption from the OSHA rule.

During the July 28 meeting–which curiously did NOT have a single official from DOL or OSHA—proponents of the OSHA proposal offered “20 Facts about Crane Operator Certification.”   They hit opponents of improved crane safety standards straight on with:

  • “In many cases a stated opposition to certification masks an opposition to training.  A federal requirement would bring those employers who are reluctant to train…into line with industry standards.”
  • “21 of the 23 members of the Cranes and Derricks Advisory Committee (CDAC) supported operator certification as outlined in the final consensus document submitted to OSHA in August 2004.
  • “The CDAC consensus document was unanimously approved by OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction S&H.
  • “Nationwide mandatory crane operator certification is coming.  The only remaining question is: will it be a state-by-state (city-by-city, county-by-county) process, or a national program that will be uniform for employers everywhere?  (emphasis in original)

Read their entire document here.

Let’s hope the White House realizes it should spend its time reviewing OSHA rule on crane safety, and not Secretary’s Chao’s abomination on risk assessment for OSHA and MSHA health standards.

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