The Associated Press reports that for the first time since 1971 the federal government is to update building crane regulations and will require crane operators nationwide to pass a certification test. This change by the U.S. Department of Labor follows deadly accidents in several U.S. cities, including Houston, and serious injuries caused by crane collapses in Dallas.Here are excerpts from the story:
The draft rules will require crane operators to pass written and practical tests in all 50 states and also will require the operators to undergo more training.
The new standards aim to toughen requirements on inspecting ground conditions, the assembly and disassembly of cranes, the operation of cranes near power lines, the certification and training of crane operators, the use of safety devices and inspections of cranes.
Crane operators would have four options under the new requirements: certification through an accredited third-party testing organization, qualification through an audited employer testing program, a U.S. military-issued qualification, or qualification by a state or local licensing authority.
Just 15 states and six cities — including New York state and New York City — require the tests. Texas, which led the nation in deadly crane accidents for the past three years, does not.
Industry officials had called for months for uniform standards for operating cranes and had pushed the government to move quicker to update the standards. A final approval process will likely take more than a year.