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OSHA compliance – Don’t Wait for the Fine (Part 1 of 4)

Sam Lines
Sam Lines
ConSeal Engineering Manager slines@conseal.com

OSHA Crane Operation Ruling Highlights the Importance of Annual Plant Safety Inspections.

Blog Series Don’t Wait for the Fine Addresses Safety Issues Precast Plants Face Daily.

 

In August 2010, OSHA published the Final Rule on Cranes and Derricks in Construction. The rule set in motion a requirement for crane operators in construction sites to be certified by November 2014. By September of that year, it was becoming apparent that the rule provided too broad of a cross-section, and that the operator of a 5-ton rail crane used for septic tank installations did not need to pass a test for a 100-ton crane used for a variety of applications. OSHA extended the deadline for certification to November 2017. During this three-year extension, the National Precast Concrete Association lobbied significantly to get a 21-ton and under precast delivery crane certification approved.

On June 23, 2017, OSHA issued a press release stating that the timeline for getting crane operators certified is extended by one additional year. Precasters had until November 10, 2018 to get their crane operators certified to meet the requirements of the standard. For more details on the law, see 29 CFR 1926.1427.

This post is part one of a series called Don’t Wait for the Fine, where issues will be addressed that face precast plants every day. Many of you have spent time and money to comply with one OSHA regulation that continues to be kicked down the road. The crane operator certification rule has consumed hundreds of hours of time from our national association to ease the burden on its members. The concern that this author has is that there are hundreds of critical laws passed by Congress and enforced by the Department of Labor, specifically the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. One law does not carry more penalty than another, and we must not get complacent on the obvious violations that can easily be cited with penalties in the tens of thousands of dollars.

There are so many safety and health laws required by the Code of Federal Regulations, that one could not possibly mention every one of them. Most safety professionals have specific regulations that are most familiar to them. As a highly trained safety professional, this author can tell you that he is far from an expert on all of them. Many of the requirements are common sense, but as the saying goes, common sense is not always common. For that reason, it is very important to work with a safety consultant and have them provide a plant-wide assessment at least annually. Alternate each year with a different expert to find different issues. There are also many sources that provide safety consultation at no charge. Ask your insurance carriers or material suppliers if they offer these services.

The cost of penalties will be addressed in the next post.

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