April 18, 2011
Nation's Building News

The Official Online Newspaper of NAHB

Safety Tip of the Month, Crane Signaling Requirements

To ensure that signal persons are qualified for their jobs, it is important for employers to be familiar with  the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Crane and Derricks in Construction Final Rule, which became effective on Nov. 9, 2010, with the effective dates of some provisions delayed by one to four years.

The rule covers a wide range of cranes over 2,000 pounds, but exempts some equipment used in residential construction — including forklifts, backhoes, excavators, equipment with a "Come-A-Long" hoist, aerial lifts, and concrete pumps.

This rule also does not cover boom trucks that deliver building materials — such as drywall or roof shingles — to the job site.

Significant changes in the new cranes and derricks rule concern:

  • Assessment and sharing knowledge of ground conditions

  • Qualification of riggers and signalmen

  • A requirement that crane operators be certified by a third party

  • Employer requirements to pay for all training needed to comply by the rule and for certification of equipment operators

  • New approach distance procedures for working in the vicinity of power lines

Although signal persons do not have to be certified, their employers must ensure that they are qualified using a third party or an employee with the demonstrated ability to assess whether an individual meets the qualification requirements for signal persons specified by the final rule.

Those qualification requirements include:

  • Know and understand the types of signals used.

  • Be competent in the application of the type of signals used.

  • Have a basic understanding of equipment operation and limitations — including the crane dynamics involved in swinging and stopping loads and boom deflection from hoisting loads.

  • Know and understand the relevant requirements of this standard.

  • Demonstrate that they meet the requirements of this section through an oral or written test and through a practical test.

A signal person must be provided in the following situations:

  • Where the point of operation —  the load travel or the area near or at load placement — is not in full view of the operator

  • When the equipment is traveling and the view in the direction of travel is obstructed

  • When — due to site-specific safety concerns —  either the operator or the person handling the load determines that a signal person is needed.

To help employers comply with the regulation, NAHB has created a guidance document and overview of the final rule on construction cranes and derricks.

Also, OSHA recently issued the "Small Entity Compliance Guide for Cranes and Derricks in Construction " to help businesses comply.

For more information, email Marcus Odorizzi, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8590.

Help Make Job Site Safety a Priority With Video From NAHB BuilderBooks

The “Jobsite Safety Video,” available through NAHB BuilderBooks, is the first-ever job site safety video for home builders.

The video provides an overview of the key safety issues that residential builders and workers need to focus on to reduce accidents and injuries.

Based on the NAHB-OSHA Jobsite Safety Handbook, this DVD is intended to be used as part of an essential residential construction safety-training program and includes two 20-minute videos on one DVD.

To view or purchase this DVD online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.

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