More construction workers will be covered by a final Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule intended to prevent workplace death and injury from hoisting cranes and derricks. The rule, issued recently by OSHA, extends a 2010 standard to underground construction workers and workers who perform demolition work. It took effect on May 23.
The earlier rule identified four main dangers workers face in using cranes and derricks — electrocution, getting crushed by equipment, getting hit by the equipment or its load, and falling — and required employers to take certain safety measures, including inspection of all parts before a crane is assembled, use of safety equipment when cranes are put up and taken down and certification of crane operators. Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, said in a news release:
It is important that construction workers in these [additional] sectors receive the same safety protections as other construction workers. Extending this rule to demolition and underground construction work will help save lives and prevent injuries.
Hopefully, this new rule will help to cut down on workplace deaths and injuries. It certainly appears to be a step in the right direction. OSHA should be commended for this good work and perhaps there will be more to come.
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