Washington Governor Signs Crane Safety Law

Only a week after confirming that she approves of the bill, Gov. Christine Gregoire signed the Washington crane safety law, which will make the state one of the strictest on construction cranes and crane operators. The law will take effect Jan. 1, 2010.

The new law will require the state Department of Labor and Industries to set up a certification program for cranes used in construction, including inspection, regular testing, and other requirements. Certified operators must have up to 2,000 hours of experience, and apprentice operators must work under certified supervisors.

According to the Seattle Times, the Legislature has been considering such safety legislation for five years, but the measure quickly passed after the Bellevue tower crane accident last fall. "We cannot allow a repeat of the tragedy from last November," Gregoire said. "The new safety regulations in the bill will make work sites safer for all workers, not just those who operate cranes."