Underground construction and demolition must soon follow the same crane and derrick standards that now apply to the rest of the construction industry, under new federal rules set to take effect this month.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a final rule that applies the requirements of the August 2010 Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard to demolition work and underground construction.
The rule will protect workers from hazards associated with hoisting equipment used during construction activities, OSHA said in an announcement.
The rule includes requirements for equipment, inspection, maintenance and other procedures. It also includes the requirement for operator certification to be completed by Nov. 10, 2014.
As of May 23, OSHA's 2010 rule on cranes and derricks will apply to demolition and underground construction.
The final rule will become effective May 23. Petitions for review of the rule are due June 24.
The rule applies the same crane rules to underground construction and demolition that are already being used by other construction sectors. It also streamlines OSHA’s standards by eliminating the separate cranes and derricks standard now used for underground and demolition work.
“It is important that construction workers in these sectors receive the same safety protection as other construction workers,” said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
“Extending this rule to demolition and underground construction work will help save lives and prevent injuries,” Michaels said.
In August 2012, OSHA issued a proposed rulemaking notice, as well as a direct final rule, proposing that the requirements in OSHA’s 2010 crane and derricks construction standard be applied to underground construction and demolition work.
The notice also proposed to correct inadvertent errors in the underground construction and demolition standards. OSHA received a comment recommending that the proposed regulatory text of the demolition standard be clarified, which OSHA has since done.