Crane safety has been in the news recently as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has decided to extend the deadline for new crane certification requirements by one year to November 10, 2018. This is the third extension for a requirement set by OSHA in 2010. At that time, a three-year extension was granted to allow companies to train crane operators to meet the new requirements. Another three-year extension was granted as the first one was running out, making the new deadline November 2017. Now crane operators will have an additional year to comply with the regulation, which requires that operators be certified for both types of cranes and the crane’s lifting capacity or weight load.
Certain industry groups oppose the new regulations, saying the process of certifying operators for weight load would tie up expensive equipment that could otherwise be used to complete construction projects. Certification for weight load would also mean that crane operators certified to handle loads of five tons or less would not be allowed to lift loads more than five tons, even if they are certified to use the crane in question. The opposition groups also question OSHA’s ability to qualify operators and said that factors like experience and leadership qualities should be considered for certification.
The President of the National Precast Concrete Association said they had been “very concerned that the testing requirements did not meet up with the types of cranes typically used in precast plants.” However, by working together with OSHA, more appropriate tests have been devised.
The Crane Institute of America and other groups were against any extension of the deadline, pointing out that companies have already had seven years to train for compliance with the rule. They argue that in seven years, many preventable injuries and fatalities have occurred.
Cities like New York that are experiencing building booms have implemented their own requirements for crane operation following several crane accidents. New York had two crane accidents with several fatalities in March of 2008, and a well-publicized crane accident in February 2016 that fatally injured a pedestrian. In one case, it was found that a crane inspector lied about having inspected the crane in the days prior to its collapse. The accidents prompted city officials to implement mandatory suspension requirements in wind gusts higher than 30 mph. An advisory group also recommended phasing out older cranes and requiring all new cranes to have technology such as GPS tracking, black boxes, and anemometers. The Building Trades Employers Association protested the lack of industry input for the new regulations by suing the city.
New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Advocate for Those Injured in Crane AccidentsCrane operation is a highly skilled job that requires specialized training. Lack of training or negligence in maintaining these complex machines can lead to deadly accidents. If you or someone you love has been injured in a crane accident, call Eichen Cruchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP at 732-777-0100 today to speak to an experienced construction accident lawyer in New Jersey about your legal options. Our attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. You can also contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation. We have offices in Edison, Toms River, and Red Bank serving clients throughout New Jersey.