OSHA Launches Initiative to Promote Safe Crane Operation

To coincide with the proposed rule on Cranes and Derricks in Construction, published last week, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has initiated a National Crane Safety Initiative to address safety hazards during construction crane operation.

The Crane Safety Initiative also builds on a number of steps taken by OSHA earlier this year to raise awareness on crane safety and increase enforcement of the current standards, including launching local emphasis programs in a number of regions to inspect high-rise construction, stakeholder outreach and additional training on crane safety.

"Three important features of this initiative are that it will provide information and outreach to the construction industry and other stakeholders, offer enhanced resources to OSHA inspectors who address crane safety and implement a National Emphasis Program on Crane Safety," said Edwin Foulke Jr., assistant secretary for Occupational Safety and Health. "The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported the 2007 fatality rate was the lowest in recorded history, including a reported 5-percent reduction in fatalities for the construction industry. This initiative builds upon this successful record."

Through its agency partners in the construction industry, OSHA will increase awareness of and provide information on how to avoid crane hazards. The agency's compliance safety and health officers will receive enhanced resources on crane safety. Additionally, the National Emphasis Program will incorporate increased targeted inspections of construction worksites to identify crane hazards and promote compliance with workplace crane safety requirements.

OSHA's proposed rule on cranes and derricks addresses the key hazards associated with construction cranes and derricks.