The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region VI office in Dallas, TX, has established a Regional Emphasis Program covering employees in the construction industry who perform crane operations. The program conducts safety inspections of workplaces in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and sites in New Mexico that are under federal OSHA jurisdiction.
"This Regional Emphasis Program (REP) was established as an enforcement initiative for the inspection of cranes used in construction, with the goal of preventing serious and fatal injuries to employees working on and around cranes," said Regional Administrator Dean McDaniel. The REP will address various hazards associated with cranes, including but not limited to, being struck by objects, electrocution, crane tip-over, being caught in or between machinery, and falls. Past inspection evidence indicates these hazards are the leading causes of accidents where cranes are used in the construction industry."
The emphasis program is intended to supplement existing OSHA targeting programs, focusing additional resources as necessary to monitor jobsites, promote compliance, and promote awareness of safety and health hazards during construction activities involving cranes. OSHA will utilize a number of tools to address this issue, including enforcement, outreach, training, onsite consultation, partnerships, alliances and the agency's Voluntary Protection Programs.
Under OSHA's construction crane standard, 29 C.F.R. 1926.550, there is a general requirement for employers to inspect construction cranes prior to each use, during use and annually. OSHA also has specific standards that apply to different types of cranes. The OSHA standard requires that employers conduct tower crane inspections prescribed by the manufacturer.
For more information contact OSHA area offices in the region: Austin, Texas, 512-374-0271; Baton Rouge, La., 225-298-5458; Corpus Christi, Texas, 361-888-3420; Dallas, Texas, 214-320-2400; Fort Worth, Texas, 817-428-2470; Houston North, Texas, 281-591-2438; Houston South, Texas, 281-286-0583; Little Rock, Ark., 501-224-1841; Lubbock, Texas, 806-472-7681; Oklahoma City, Okla., 405-278-9560. OSHA's Region VI also has two district offices: El Paso, Texas, 915-534-6251 and San Antonio, Texas, 210-472-5040.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.