New Crane and Derrick rules aim to reduce risk of North Carolina construction accidents

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced new rules for the use of cranes and derricks in construction, replacing decades-old standards that critics contend were antiquated and did not afford construction crews the proper protection.

North Carolina construction accidents frequently involve cranes, derricks or other heavy equipment. Falls or being struck by heavy objects are also leading causes of work accidents and North Carolina workers’ compensation claims.

Nationwide, about 267,000 construction and crane companies will be impacted and 4.8 million workers will be affected by the new rules.

“The significant number of fatalities associated with the use of cranes in construction led the Labor Department to undertake this rulemaking,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “After years of extensive research, consultation and negotiation with industry experts, this long overdue rule will address the leading causes of fatalities related to cranes and derricks, including electrocution, boom collapse and overturning.”

The previous rules date back to 1971 and were based on 40-year-old standards.

“The rule addresses critically important provisions for crane operator certification, and crane inspection, set-up and disassembly,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. “Compliance with the rule will prevent needless worker injuries and death, and provide protection for the public and property owners.”

The new rules are designed to prevent the leading causes of fatal accidents, including electrocution, being struck or crushed by objects, and collapsing or overturning cranes.

The complete federal Cranes and Derricks Standards is available here.

If you are injured in a North Carolina construction accident, contact the Law Offices of Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.

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