Maryland Sets Transition Period For Implementation of Crane Safety Regulations

When Maryland made new crane safety regulations official in April, the State Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) also set up a citation-free transition period which runs through the 2009 calendar year. During that time, Maryland Occupational Safety and Health will inspect for compliance, but will not sanction civil penalties for any violations of new requirements.

Notice of violations will be issued to help assist contractors will compliance, according to a DLLR press release. The new regulations, considered among the strictest in the nation, are the result of recommendations made by a crane safety task force comprised of industry, labor and regulatory representatives. The task force was charged with developing a strategy to increase training levels for crane operators, operator trainees, riggers and signalpersons.

Maryland’s regulations are the first to establish uniform training standards for riggers and signalpersons. The new rules do not require certification, but do require specified training levels for those involved in crane operations, and require employers to keep training records. They also require daily inspections of crane equipment.

“Maryland workers deserve to have the confidence of knowing that their worksites are safe, and that the state is doing everything in its power to ensure their well being,” said Governor Martin O’Malley, who applauded the labor commissioner for convening of the stakeholders and helping to gain approval for safety regulations that can serve as a model for other states.