In a letter to Secretary of the Department of Labor Elaine Chao, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater recently expressed the frustration and disappointment of the Association and its crane-manufacturing members that the OSHA Crane Safety Standard has not advanced to the Public Comment stage.
In July of 2002, OSHA announced its intention to rewrite the Federal Crane Safety Standard through the Negotiated Rulemaking process. Committee members were selected and, over the next two years, they identified key issues, evaluated their importance, analyzed the information required to resolve the issues and reached consensus on the coverage and substance of the new rule.
By July of 2004, the group concluded their efforts and submitted their draft consensus proposal to then Assistant Secretary of Labor (OSHA) John Henshaw. The Crane Safety Standard still is not complete and ready for publication. After a four-year period, the document has only made it through the initial approval phases, beginning with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) and a line-by-line justification of the new document.
Still to come is a public comment period and subsequent required changes. AEM believes this standard is a vital step in achieving safer crane operation.