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OSHA adds year to boom crane operator certification requirement target

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration has issued a one-year extension, to November 18, 2018, for precast concrete or construction fleets bound by Standard 1926.1427 – Operator Qualification and Certification. It requires operators of 2,000-lb. or higher capacity cranes to be 1) Qualified, where they are observed working safety and knowledgably, and have documentation on file; and, 2) Certified by passing written and practical exams administered through Crane Institute Certification, National Center for Construction Education & Research, National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, or other accredited body.

“When OSHA initially published the rule several years ago, we were very concerned that testing requirements did not match up with the types of cranes typically used in precast,” National Precast Concrete Association President Ty Gable told members in a dispatch following the agency’s certification deadline extension. “Once the appropriate test was in place, there was not enough time to get all the operators certified before the November 2017 deadline.” Continued collaboration with OSHA, he added, netted precast producers time to complete Standard 1926.1427 training and testing, guidelines for which are included in NPCA resources at www. precast.org/cranes.

SAFE + SOUND WEEK

Marking the inaugural “Safe + Sound Week” last month, OSHA called on organizations of all sizes in a wide range of industries to raise awareness of the value and importance of workplace safety and health programs. Participation can help with the launch of such programs or energize existing ones, the agency noted, underscoring three core elements:

• Management leadership that commits to establishing, maintaining and continually improving a program.

• Workers who help identify solutions for improvements. A workforce engaged in safety and health programs results in higher productivity, increased job satisfaction and strong worker retention, which combine to increase revenues and lower turnover and recruitment costs.

• A systematic “find and fix” approach that calls upon employers and workers alike to examine their workplaces—proactively and routinely—to identify and address hazards before an injury or illness occurs.

“Our nation has made great strides in raising awareness about the importance of workplace safety, yet more than four million workers suffer serious job-related injuries or illnesses annually. We can do better,” says U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.

Joining OSHA as Safe + Sound Week sponsors are National Safety Council, American Industrial Hygiene Association, American Society of Safety Engineers, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Partners in the effort include 85 trade associations, industry and professional groups.