Details on OSHA’s new cranes and derricks rule


The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has released a major new rule for cranes and derricks in the construction safety standards Subpart N. The standard will be officially published in the Federal Register on August 9, 2010 and will take effect on November 9, 2010.

In a news release the Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA) offered the following  link to the new Crane and Derrick Standard.

According to SEAA, a significant number of fatalities associated with the use of cranes and derricks in construction and the considerable technological advances in equipment since the 1971 publication of the old rule led the U.S. Department of Labor to undertake this rulemaking, which was performed using the negotiated rulemaking process. SEAA was represented on the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee as one of 21 affected parties. SEAA supports the negotiated rulemaking process and this new standard.

Background on the Rule Development

In 1998, OSHA’s expert Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) established a workgroup to develop recommended changes to the current standard for cranes and derricks. SEAA participated in the workgroup at that time. In December 1999, ACCSH recommended that the Agency use negotiated rulemaking to develop the rule. The Cranes and Derricks Negotiated Rulemaking Committee (C-DAC) was convened in July 2003 and reached consensus on its draft document in July 2004. In 2006, ACCSH recommended that OSHA use the C-DAC consensus document as a basis for OSHA’s proposed rule, which was published in 2008. Public hearings were held in March 2009, and the public comment period on those proceedings closed in June 2009.

Unfortunately, under the new administration, OSHA, although represented and participatory on the negotiated rulemaking committee, has made 17 significant changes to the consensus standard originally developed and agreed upon by the C-DAC Committee in 2004. These 17 changes (available at include a requirement for employers to pay for both training and certification of any uncertified operators in their employment as of the effective date of the rule–November 9, 2010.

Also, not originally included in the consensus document but now a requirement is certification for qualified riggers for certain tasks such as Assembly/Disassembly. The standard also requires certification of training for signal persons.

SEAA’s training programs for both Rigger Safety and Signal Person Training modules are available to assist contractors in their compliance efforts. Both programs are available at or by calling 336.294.8880.

SEAA encourages contractors who own and operate cranes to become familiar with the requirements of this standard. If you have questions about the standard, please direct inquiries to


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