Although members of the crane and construction industry helped draft the standard in 2004, OSHA’s analysis of the rule, and further economic research, has raised questions of interpretation and judgement about which it wishes to consult the crane industry. In fact, most of the 242-page document, published in early October, consists of an analysis and discussion of each point of the standard, and an economic analysis. OSHA’s queries are scattered through this text.

Although some of these queries are minor, many are very significant and could have huge consequences for the industry. For example, C-DAC requires the certification of crane operators, and the qualification of riggers and signalpersons. On p. 59766, OSHA asks whether, in light of recent crane accidents, crane inspectors should be certified. On p59843, OSHA says that C-DAC proposes two different methods of prototype testing of mobile cranes. But the rules do not refer to tower cranes, which OSHA views as an oversight. Should there be prototype testing of tower cranes, it asks? On p.59822, OSHA publishes the letter of dissent of Brian Murphy, a member of the C-DAC drafting committee, about the requirement for operator certification. Murphy questions the need for, and practicality of, limiting an employer’s operator qualification/certification options to those requiring independent third parties, and the degree of portability of qualification/certification. OSHA requests comment on these issues.

Cranes Today believes that the consultative nature of the process of making this new law has allowed the crane industry unprecedented access and input into the US’s crane laws. This process continues with the proposed rule. But the sheer length of the document might put off all but the most die-hard crane fans. Cranes Today has searched through the standard (on the word ‘comment’) and written short summaries of each one to help companies find the issues currently under discussion, and then decide whether or not to reply.

The deadline for input is December 8. Anyone may comment on the standard. They should include the agency name (OSHA) and docket number (OSHA-2007-0066), their name, date and subject. They can submit online (via, by fax (202 693 1648) or by post: OSHA Docket Office, Technical Data Center, Room N–2625, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20210. Comments will become part of the public record.