Crane accidents have been prevalent in the news recently. In April 2019, a crane accident happened in downtown Seattle killing four people and injuring three others. Unfortunately, about 44 people are killed and injured each year in the U.S. from crane accidents. These mishaps have led operators and contractors to question whether or not they have the proper training needed for these cranes. According to Alabama-based crane inspector James Pritchett, most crane incidents come down to human error. At the end of the work day, laborers need to be aware of all necessary precautions in order to ensure safety. Our mission at Sigalarm is to save lives in every circumstance we can. This includes supporting regulations to combat crane accidents.
Crane Operations OSHA Regulations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has provided clarification in terms of qualification requirements for all crane operators. In order to combat crane accidents to enforce safety, the following regulations are mandatory:
- November 10, 2018—Crane operators must be certified. Certifications may be by type alone and must be issued by an accredited certifying body such as NCCCO.
- February 7, 2019—Employers must evaluate their crane operators according to specified criteria and a stipulated process.
- April 15, 2019—Employers must ensure all documentation relating to their evaluations is current.
How Does This Apply?
The fundamental purpose of OSHA’s crane standard is to assure that employers are training operators to perform specific crane activities and evaluate those tasks. Employers who have evaluated operators prior to December 9, 2018, will not have to conduct those evaluations again, but will only have to document when those evaluations were completed. This rule applies to multiple construction equipment which includes mobile cranes, tower cranes, service truck cranes, digger derricks and dedicated pile drivers. Behind the rule, crane operators must receive ongoing training to operate new equipment and be certified or licensed.
Addressing Human Error
While machines can experience malfunctions and other defects during use, it always comes with a source. Ultimately, the source is most likely from humans. This includes designers, inspectors, manufacturers, engineers, and operators. Human errors that can cause crane accidents is not receiving the proper utility training, not knowing how to properly operate the crane, not inspecting it, and or not maintaining it. All of these steps make up for the overall picture. So, it is crucial that every person in the field is fully aware and responsible for such machinery. James Pritchett, who has investigated dozens of accidents and trains crane operators, says he rarely finds a reason for an accident that is not related to human error.
Safeguard Job Sites
Regardless of location or time, the most important factor behind all regulations, especially OSHA’s crane standard, is safety. Therefore, in accordance to public safety, the OSHA revisions and regulations will help to decrease operator-induced crane accidents.
At Sigalarm, we strive to save lives on and off the work site. So, as a world leader in power line warning systems, our mission is to provide high quality products and invest into key acquisitions, research, and development. We do all this to meet our customers’ needs for reliable proximity warning systems. Contact us today and keep your team’s safety on the job site.