Archive for February, 2015

House pressures OSHA to address crane operator certification concerns

House pressures OSHA to address crane operator certification concerns

On Feb. 11, the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce wrote to David Michaels, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, noting its concerns about delays in the implementation process concerning the revised safety standard for cranes and derricks in construction. The letter urged him “to consider the recommendations of all stakeholders, including members of the Coalition for Crane Operator Safety (CCOS). SC&RA is a charter member of CCOS, which also consists of Associated Equipment Distributors; Association of Equipment Manufacturers Associated General Contractors of America; International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union; International Union of Operating Engineers; NationsBuilders Insurance Services, Inc.; National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators; National Center for Construction Education and Research; and Operating Engineers Certification Program.

The letter referred to the new safety standard that was finalized on Aug. 9, 2010, which included revised requirements for crane operator certification based on type and capacity. Because the 17 states and six cities with mandatory crane certification do not use capacity as the criteria, CCOS suggests that without clarification, as many as 100,000 certified crane operators might not be qualified under the current regulatory language, noted the House Committee. The letter further pointed out that OSHA extended the implementation deadline for Crane Operator Certification from Nov. 10, 2014 to Nov. 10, 2017 in an apparent effort to fix a flaw related to how a crane operator is “deemed qualified.”

“It is unclear if OSHA has aligned enforcement guidance within the three year delay,” wrote Minn. Rep. John Kline (R), Chair of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Mich. Rep. Tim Walberg (R), Chair of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections. “Further, the delay may result in fewer individuals enrolling in training courses, which is clearly not the desired result of the 2010 standard.”

They urged OSHA to work with stakeholders to resolve the discrepancies and “to ensure enforcement guidance is consistent with the implemented delay” until the agency is able to fix the outstanding certification issues.

Click here to read the letter.


Hand Crane at Port de Gimouille


Crane Port de Gimouille


This impressive but old crane is now part of the scenery, but back in the day it operated purely by man power. The crank was turned by hand.

test post

testing to see what uploading image from within admin wcraneshome01l change

Attitude; How to Drive Safety Home

Attitude. I think it’s going to be the new buzzword in construction. I keep hearing this word coming out of the mouths of managers, safety people and workers alike. I hope this is yet another step in creating a safer work environment for all of us.

Having been a part of so many levels of this business, it can be hard to understand why there can still be so many accidents when we are writing and implementing so many new and better standards for safety. It’s hard to understand and yet we still persevere in writing new standards for safety and implementing new ideas today.

safety first cranes101I can’t remember any accident in recent history that wasn’t a result of not following the safety standards. I hate to say it, but it gets to be old hat sometimes when you look at an accident and the whole reason it happened is because someone didn’t follow protocol or didn’t know the proper way to complete a task.

I believe that training is going to be the next piece of the safe operation puzzle to get implemented. I refer to it as the next step and not the final step because I can see where we will go from there.

The final step will be attitude. You can preach safe practices and demand that your people know the procedures forward and backward, but if they don’t use their knowledge all the time, it’s like you never trained them.

I’m not lily white. I’ve taken chances and now that I look back I realize that I was lucky. At the management level you need to convey the “use safe practices all the time” message and make it so it matters to your people. I know some safety people believe that making safety personal helps. I believe they’re right.

To emphasize the importance of going home at the end of your day and spending time with family or friends as being wrapped up totally with safe practices really drives the message home. If you’re in a managerial position, knowing the name of your workers spouse and children is good practice. Making rules personal like; “it’s important to me that you wear a hardhat so that you can go home in one piece and build that tree house with Junior”. The message carries a personal tone and has a better chance of hitting home.

Face it, our work lives are important. They support our home lives. We all have our special interests and special needs. All of which require that we work every day and also require that we leave work in one piece. The “leaving work in one piece” part seems to get lost in the fray when we’re focused on getting a job done.

safety priceless cranes101

Unique Crane

When I think of a crane, a few keywords pop into my mind: Big, heavy, strong, intimidating, solid… catch my drift?

So when I stumbled upon this unique crane, I had to laugh.

Unique Crane

Technically, it IS a crane. Still, I don’t know how intimidated I am of it.