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The vast majority of a new final rule on construction cranes and derricks from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) becomes effective on Nov. 8.
Published in the Aug. 9 Federal Register, this complex and comprehensive new rule applies to power-operated equipment used in construction (e.g. cranes) to hoist, lower and horizontally move a suspended load with a load rating capacity over 2,000 pounds. Included are: articulating cranes (e.g. knuckle-boom cranes), crawler cranes, mobile cranes (such as wheel mounted, rough-terrain, all-terrain, commercial truck-mounted and boom truck cranes) and multi-purpose machines configured to hoist and lower by means of a winch or hook.
Some equipment used in residential construction is excluded from the rule, including: forklifts, excavators, backhoes, track loaders, machinery that uses a come-a-long to hoist, and articulating/knuckle-boom truck cranes used for material delivery on construction sites when transferring materials from the truck to the ground or when transferring materials or building supplies — such as drywall, shingles and plywood — onto the structure.
Articulating/knuckle-boom truck cranes are not excluded when they are handling prefabricated components — such as roof trusses, wall panels, roof structures or similar items.
The exclusion also does not apply when the equipment is used to hold, support or stabilize the materials to facilitate a construction activity, such as holding material in place while it is attached to a structure.
The new OSHA crane rule also includes significant changes on: controlling entities — or general contractors — sharing knowledge about ground conditions where the crane will be set-up; new qualifications for riggers and signalmen; certification of crane operators by a third party, which will be phased in over a four-year period; employer requirements to pay for training and for certification of equipment operators; and procedures for working in the vicinity of power lines.
In order to help simplify this very complex rule, NAHB has developed an Overview of the Crane and Derricks in Construction Final Rule.