New OSHA Crane Laws Will Effect Everyone in Construction

If you haven’t heard already there will be new Federal OSHA Laws concerning cranes coming into effect on November 8, 2010. The laws are in place to ensure jobsite safety and are the responsibility of all parties involved with using the crane…the crane company, the contractor that hires the crane, and the General Contractor.

The most important rules that affect companies other then the crane service are:

• Certified Signal Person
• Qualified Rigger
• Ground Conditions

Certified Signal Person – If a crane is operating in the blind (operators view of object being hoisted is obstructed) the person giving hand or audio signals must be certified by a qualified 3rd party.

Qualified Rigger – Person hooking up loads to the crane must be qualified as competent to perform this task by the company they work for. “Qualified” means the person has taken classes, has a rigging certification, or has had years of experience performing rigging tasks.

Ground Conditions – Ground conditions must be suitable for supporting the equipment to be used. The ground must be firm, drained, and graded sufficiently. It is the “controlling entities” (GC or if not applicable, contractor hiring crane) responsibility to ensure the ground meets these conditions, if not they must make the necessary accommodations before the crane can set up.

Controlling entities must also disclose ground conditions to the crane company including, surface type, underground pipes or vaults, and other underground structures such as parking garages.

If an accident or violation occurs the fines and liabilities could fall on all entities involved with the crane (crane company, hiring contractor, and the GC).

All of Quick Pick Cranes operators and oilers/truck drivers are all Certified Signal People and Qualified Riggers. If a customer orders a larger crane that requires multiple people to assemble and operate, the crane will arrive with personnel with these credentials. However, many times, on smaller cranes, our operators arrive on the jobsite alone. In these cases, since the operators responsibility is to run the crane, the hiring company or GC will need to provide Certified Signal Persons and and/or qualified riggers. Quick Pick Crane could supply the additional Certified Signal Person or Qualified Rigger for these situations, but it will come with an additional cost to the hiring company.

It is very important that companies who may be hiring a crane begin to certify and qualify their employees for signaling and rigging. Most importantly for safety, but for cost effectiveness as well. Hiring a signal person or rigger from Quick Pick or any other company could add a significant cost to the bill.

We are in the process of finding or putting together resources to assist our customers in getting their personnel proper credentials. We will provide updates when they become available. In the mean time please feel free to call our office for more information 203-924-2000.


OSHA’s Cranes and Derricks in Construction Final Rule PDF

Web Chat with OSHA on Cranes and Derricks Final Rule