How to Comply with the New OSHA Crane Standard
According to OSHA, when working with cranes, the four main causes of worker death and injury are electrocution, crushed by parts of the equipment, struck-by the equipment/load, and falls. The requirements of the new standard are expected to prevent 22 fatalities and 175 non-fatal injuries each year. Here are just a few of the major requirements that you must comply with if you are operating a crane on your jobsite(s):
Ground conditions should be firm, drained, and graded, and sufficient to support the weight of the crane. The controlling entity should make you aware of any hazards, such as voids or utilities.
The A/D (assembly/disassembly) director must be a competent person and a qualified person; or a competent person assisted by a qualified person. These terms are fully explained in the standard. Generally, manufacturer instructions should be used during assembly/disassembly procedures; however, a qualified person can develop employer procedures so long as they meet all safety requirements. If outriggers and stabilizers are to be used they must be fully extended. The A/D director must complete a thorough inspection of the assembled crane before it is used. Tower cranes must also have a pre-assembly inspection completed and documented. A qualified rigger must be used for rigging operations during assembly/disassembly and other activities when workers must be in the fall zone to handle a load. When using synthetic slings, the manufacturers’ instructions/procedures must always be followed.
One of the more significant changes to the standard is the requirement that all crane operators be certified no later than November 10, 2014. Certification requires a written examination and practical exam to be carried out by an accredited third-party testing organization. Employers must pay for the certification of their crane operators.
A signal person would be required if the point of operation is not in full view of the operator, the view of direction of travel is obstructed, or if there are other safety concerns. The signal person must be qualified by either a third-party organization or the employer and documentation must be available.
Inspections of the crane and related equipment must be completed and documented monthly by a competent person. Keep inspection documents for at least 3 months. In addition, an annual inspection must be completed by a qualified person or third-party crane inspection company. Proper documentation should be kept for at least 12 months.
One of the best things an employer can do is to be sure that everyone involved in the assembly, disassembly, rigging and operation of a crane is properly trained, qualified and/or certified to do the work properly and safely for the type of loads and lifts that are required by the job.
This information is provided as a service to you by Compliance Consultants, Inc.