North Carolina Proposes New Cranes and Derricks Rules

The North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) has announced that it is taking a proactive approach toward protecting those in the state who operate and work around cranes, according to the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) newsletter. NCDOL is proposing new rules for cranes and derricks that mirror, with a few minor exceptions, the proposed agreement submitted to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on July 13, 2004, by the Cranes and Derricks Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee (C-DAC).

Several representatives from SC&RA's membership were among the 23 members of C-DAC, and the association has continued to urge adoption of the proposed rules, which were not published in the Federal Register until Oct. 9, 2008. NCDOL said it was moving ahead with its own rules because it does not anticipate a final OSHA rule for at least one year.

"As is evidenced by recent events involving crane operations throughout the United States, accidents, injuries and fatalities resulting from ineffective regulation of the crane industry remain unacceptably high," according to the Notice of Text and Rules filed by NCDOL on Nov. 20.

Following the official publication of the notice in the North Carolina Register on Dec. 15, a 60-day public comment period will begin. A public hearing has been scheduled for 1 p.m., Jan. 15, 2009, in Room 359, North Carolina Department of Agriculture, 2 W. Edenton Street, Raleigh, N.C.

SC&RA members should contact Erin Gould at (919) 733-7885 if they wish to attend this hearing or pre-register to speak. NCDOL welcomes written comments on the proposed rules until the expiration of the comment period on Feb. 13. NCDOL anticipates taking final agency action by Feb. 20, and appearing before the Rules Review Commission on March 19.This schedule would permit an effective date as early as April 1.