Cranes and Derricks (Construction): What you need to know


In August 2010, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adopted a historic new standard addressing the use of cranes and derricks in construction and replacing a decades-old standard.

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The rules for certification of crane operators in states and municipalities without licensing requirements are being phased in over 4 years. There are separate rules for crane equipment used for general industry activities. See the CRANES AND SLINGS topic analysis for information about cranes in general industry.

The standard comprehensively addresses key hazards related to cranes and derricks on construction worksites, including the four main causes of worker death and injury: electrocution, crushed by parts of the equipment, being struck by the equipment/load, and falls. The rules are designed to reduce or eliminate these hazards.

29 CFR 1926.1400

This standard applies to power-operated equipment when used in construction that can hoist, lower, and horizontally move a suspended load. The definition does not include helicopter cranes, which are covered under a separate OSHA rule at 29 CFR 1926.551.

Controlling entity (29 CFR 1926.1401). The “controlling entity” is the employer that is a prime contractor, general contractor, construction manager, or any other legal entity that has the overall responsibility for the planning, quality, and completion of a construction project that involves cranes or derricks. There are specific duties and requirements for the controlling entity in several provisions of the regulations. There are also requirements for other employers in authority when there is no controlling entity during certain crane operations.

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