Maryland First to Address Riggers and Signal Persons in Proposed Standards

Maryland's State labor department is proposing sweeping regulations on crane safety which would be among the strictest in the country. Authored by a coalition of construction companies, labor unions, and regulatory officials, the rules would be the first to establish standards for riggers and signal persons.

A state legislative committee must now sign off on the standards package, requiring operators, riggers and signal persons to complete training and increasing inspection and accident investigation by the state. A Maryland Occupational Safety and Health program advisory board voted unanimously last week to recommend the standards.

Maryland would be the first to establish uniform training standards for riggers and signal persons, according to Joel Oliva of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators. Robert Hileman, president of United Crane & Rigging in Baltimore, which is a member of the drafting coalition, said he believes the standards will be “mirrored in other areas of the country.”

If the legislative committee approves the new regulations, they could go into effect within three months.