North Carolina Repeals State Crane Regulation

The North Carolina’s Department of Labor (NCDOL) announced to stakeholders on Sept. 7, 2010 the decision to repeal its state crane regulation to promote consistency and avoid confusion. The regulation was put in place in October 2009 as a proactive approach to improving safety standards for crane operators after several national crane accidents.

“Labor officials invited industry leaders to discuss a draft standard, and eventually promulgated its own standard based on the proposed federal standard that was published in the Federal Register on October 9, 2008 (73 FR 59713),” said Dolores Quesenberry, NCDOL communications director, in explaining how the state approached their rulemaking process. “NCDOL took this approach because it knew that it could get a standard in place on a state-wide level sooner than Federal OSHA could do so on the national level.”

Now that OSHA’s new cranes and derricks regulation is in place, North Carolina has chosen to repeal its law. “This new federal standard is substantially similar to what was originally proposed by Federal OSHA in 2008, and what NCDOL adopted in 2009,” said Quesenberry. As a result, she said, NCDOL officials have decided to repeal its rule and adopt the federal one.

“Having one rule will allow consistency across the board and minimize any confusion for crane owners in North Carolina,” she said, adding that the repeal should have little effect on crane owners or end users doing business in North Carolina. “North Carolina originally based its standard on the proposed federal standard,” said Quesenberry. “One difference is that the federal rule gives employers up to four years to ensure that their operators are qualified or certified as opposed to two.”

The announcement can be read in its entirety at the website of the North Carolina Office of Administration Hearings, Rules Division.