OSHA Fortifies Safety Rules for Demolition and Underground Construction

In August 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a ruling, which applies the August 2010 safety standard of cranes and derricks to demolition work and underground construction. The considerable number of fatalities associated with the use of cranes and derricks in construction and the advances in equipment since the publication of the old rule led to new revisions. The safety rule will help protect construction workers from the dangers associated with hoisting equipment.

The new rule will streamline safety standards. OSHA will apply the same crane standard to underground construction and demolition that is being utilized by other construction divisions. At the same time, it will simplify OSHA’s standards by eliminating the separate cranes and derricks standard currently used for demolition and underground jobs.

Workers that engage in underground construction or demolition labor will be subject to one safety standard rather than multiple standards covered under both subparts CC and DD of the rule. The comprehensive rule is published in the Federal Register.

OSHA’s ruling will also correct any shortcomings or errors present in the 2010 rule, making it easier for employees and workers to implement appropriate safety standards.

The Final Rule

This new rule aims to address key dangers related to cranes and derricks on construction worksites, including the four main causes of employee fatalities and injury: electrocution, struck-by the equipment/load, crushed the equipment and falls.

In addition, the rule has new requirements, including the early inspection of tower crane parts and evaluation of procedures for worksites surrounding power lines.

Furthermore, there will be modifications to the former standard. The following list includes some of the new or changed requirements:

  • Employers must fund state or local certifications of uncertified or unqualified employees
  • Employers must use a qualified rigger for rigging activities during assembly and disassembly
  • Employers must perform an inspection of tower cranes before erection

The final rule is scheduled to become effective on Nov. 15. Ultimately, OSHA hopes that the new rule will help prevent 22 fatalities and 175 non-fatal injuries each year.

Construction accidents are some of the most egregious work accidents. Therefore, it is important to implement strong policies to ensure safety and security of workers. The final rule aims to solidify current safety standards that govern construction sites.

When proper safety precautions are not in place, workplace accidents happen. If you have been injured in an accident on the job, you may want to speak to a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney about your options for recovery. You may be entitled to accident benefits that can support you while you recuperate from your injuries.

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