ASSE Requests Hearing on OSHA’s Proposed Crane Rule

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) in a recent comment has asked OSHA for a hearing to determine how the agency failed to include a single reference to A10 Safety Requirements for Construction and Demolition Operations voluntary consensus standards in its proposed rule on cranes and derricks in construction.

The ANSI/ASSE A10 Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) is one of the oldest American National Standards Institute (ANSI) committees, and, until recently, OSHA was a committee member. As ASSE’s numerous technical concerns about the rulemaking indicate, references to the A10 and other standards are both appropriate and necessary if this rulemaking is to be consistent with already widely accepted crane safety practices within industry.

Warren K. Brown, ASSE president, wrote in the comment that “ … ASSE is greatly disappointed that OSHA did not go nearly far enough in meeting its responsibility to incorporate voluntary national consensus standards in creating this proposed rule.”

ASSE supported OSHA’s proposal for crane operation certification but urged that changes be made to ensure quality accreditation of certification programs in the same way the credibility of the highest levels of safety and health professional certifications are guaranteed.

With respect to the negotiated rulemaking process through which this rulemaking was developed, ASSE urged OSHA to look at its experience closely and see if lessons can be learned to help improve negotiated rulemaking as a tool for engaging the entire occupational safety and health community in OSHA’s future rulemaking. ASSE has long called for the use of negotiated rulemaking to address some of the more intractable issues facing occupational safety and health.

“We look forward to a response to our request for a hearing concerning OSHA’s failure to meet its requirements under law to recognize and incorporate by reference the national voluntary consensus standards used widely by industry to manage crane and derrick safety,” the comment read.

OSHA’s rule on cranes and derricks in construction was proposed Oct. 9, 2008. For more information on the proposed rule, or to read ASSE’s complete comment to OSHA, visit http://www.asse.org/professionalaffairs/.
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