SC&RA Submits Comment about Cranes, Derricks Safety Standard

The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) last week submitted comments in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning an update to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety rules to increase employee protection by improving 40-year-old safety standards for cranes and derricks in construction (Subpart N 29 CFR 1926.550). The standard governs the operation of cranes in the United States.

The SC&RA, Fairfax, Va., has been involved with efforts to improve the safety standard since July 2003 when OSHA established the Crane and Derrick Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee (C-DAC) to develop the proposed rule. Doug Williams, Buckner HeavyLift Cranes, participated on the 23-member committee as SC&RA's official representative.

In the comments, SC&RA Vice President Beth O'Quinn said the association fully supports OSHA's use of Negotiated Rulemaking, which allowed all facets of the industry affected by the standard to participate in direct and focused discussions and deliberations. Noting that SC&RA's representative negotiated clearly and in good faith represented the association's goals and viewpoints throughout the negotiations, SC&RA limited its comments to 92 instances "where OSHA altered consensus based language or in answer to OSHA's specific request for public comment." Where comment was not submitted, SC&RA is in full support of the language as offered in the proposed rule.

O'Quinn further noted that SC&RA shares the conviction that "training and certification not be considered as additional costs but rather an investment in safety and our workforce. Safety is not a cost center but rather an essential business investment."

"SC&RA is a strong advocate for operator certification, training and the enforcement of unified standards throughout our country," O'Quinn noted after the itemized comments. "We must seize this opportunity. Our association and our members take safety responsibility very seriously. One injury or fatality within our industry is one too many."

Click here to download the complete comment.