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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez

US Department of Labor: Spring Regulatory Agenda 2010

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Topic: Cranes & Derricks in Construction

The Cranes and Derricks rulemaking is a high priority rulemaking for our Directorate of Construction. This rulemaking went through negotiated rulemaking and is nearing completion. The Agency is moving aggressively to meet its projected date of July 2010 for publishing the final rule. A cross-section of the industry recognized that improvements in the safety requirements are needed and asked OSHA to update the cranes/derricks requirements of Subpart N. A number of stakeholders specifically asked that we use negotiated rulemaking for this project. The existing rule, which dates back to 1971, is based in part on industry consensus standards that are over 40 years old. There have been considerable technological changes since those consensus standards were developed. Industry consensus standards for derricks and for crawler, truck and locomotive cranes have been updated numerous times since then. OSHA published a notice of intent to use negotiated rulemaking to update the cranes and derricks standard for construction in July 2002. Twenty-three Cranes and Derricks Advisory Committee members (C-DAC) were appointed and met 11 times starting in July 2003 until reaching consensus on a regulatory text document in July 2004.

The proposed rule was published on October 9, 2008, and the public comment period was extended to January 22, 2009. Additionally, public hearings were held in March 2010. The public comment period closed in June 2009. Comments and testimony were evaluated by OSHA staff to develop the final regulatory text. July 2010 is the anticipated publication date of the final rule.

Background

  • OSHA is responsible for administering and enforcing the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The agency oversees health and safety conditions at approximately 8 million workplaces nationally.
  • OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health.
  • A number of high profile and tragic crane accidents have occurred over the last few years.
  • At the request of a number of stakeholders, this rulemaking went through negotiated rulemaking and is nearing completion.
  • A cross-section of the industry recognized that improvements in the safety requirements are needed and asked OSHA to update the cranes/derricks requirements of Subpart N.
  • The existing rule, which dates back to 1971, is based in part on industry consensus standards that are over 40 years old.
  • There have been considerable technological changes over the past 40 years for equipment covered by this rule.
  • The proposed rule was based on a consensus document developed through negotiated rulemaking by the Cranes and Derricks Advisory Committee (C-DAC). C-DAC members represented a broad cross section of the industry. It included members from the following interests: insurance, training and operating testing, manufacturers and suppliers, employer owners and crane users, labor operators and crane users, powerline/distribution system owners, outdoor sign industry, trade associations, and equipment owner lessors/maintenance.

Overview of Cranes and Derricks Final Rule

  • The final rule is designed to prevent the leading causes of fatalities: electrocution; crushed-by/struck-by hazards during assembly/disassembly; collapse and overturn.
  • The final rule addresses ground condition hazards, potential electrocution hazards, and certification or qualification of crane operators.
  • The final rule addresses tower crane hazards.
  • The final rule addresses the use of synthetic slings for assembly/disassembly work.
  • The scope of the final rule includes both a functional description and a list of examples for the equipment that is covered.

Benefits of the Cranes and Derricks Final Rule

  • The Department estimated that over 267,000 establishments with approximately 4.8 million workers will be affected by the final standard.
  • OSHA believes the program will benefit workers by preventing 21 fatalities and 175 non-fatal injuries annually.

Stakeholders Affected by the Cranes and Derricks Final Rule

  • The Department anticipates this rule will affect employers engaged in construction, construction unions, crane operator certification companies and crane rental companies.

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This fact sheet has been developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, DC 20210. Voice phone: 202.693.3200; TTY: 1.877.889.5627.