What is happening with the safety orders for cranes, derricks and hoisting equipment?
The Cal/OSHA Standards Board is proposing to consolidate in one location the safety order for cranes and derricks in construction and the order for cranes and other hoisting equipment.
The state Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board’s (OSHSB) proposed omnibus rule will combine Article 15 of the Construction Safety Orders (CSO), where the cranes and derricks order had been located, and Group 13 of the General Industry Safety Orders (GISO), crane safety orders.
When the omnibus rule is adopted, the crane orders will be in one location, the General Industry Safety Orders.
Before July 7, 2011, all crane regulations were located in the General Industry Safety Orders. After a negotiated rulemaking for cranes and derricks — known in the industry as CDAC — the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration promulgated standards specific for cranes and derricks in construction (29 CFR 1926 Subpart CC).
The Cal/OSHA Standards Board initially intended to consolidate the federal standards into the GISO using the Horcher rulemaking process, under which the state is able to adopt the federal rule virtually verbatim within six months without holding hearings, given the extensive public hearings that went into adoption of the federal standards.
But affected parties within the general industry community expressed two concerns with the Horcher process: that the Cal/OSHA Standards Board was “overreaching” its authority; and federal OSHA had time constraints when adopting the standard.
As a result, the CDAC regulations were adopted into the state’s Construction Safety Orders in 2011.
Call for Consolidation
With the adoption of the federal construction crane regulations into the CSO, the board received numerous comments from various concerned parties that consolidating the two sets of crane safety orders at a single location would simplify searching for the rules, enforcing them and complying with the requirements.
For example, a mobile crane can transition from an industrial environment to a construction site on the same day. It should be noted that both the CSO and GISO crane regulations are based on American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standards. Therefore, the consolidation will have little regulatory effect on general industry. The board has proposed exceptions where the CDAC regulations would impose new requirements on cranes used solely in general industry.
Through the efforts of several advisory committees and one subcommittee, a proposal was developed to consolidate applicable crane safety regulations in Article 15 of the CSO into Group 13 of the GISO. The proposal was presented for a public hearing on May 20, 2021. The board received and responded to comments.
A second 15-day comment period opened on November 19, 2021 and will end on December 8, 2021.
To review the proposed rulemaking package, visit www.dir.ca.gov. Click on Boards, then OSHSB and scroll down to the notice of proposed modifications. In addition to the consolidation of the crane rules from the CSO and the GISO, changes are being proposed to the High-Voltage Electrical Safety Orders (HVESO).
Column based on questions asked by callers on the Labor Law Helpline, a service to California Chamber of Commerce preferred and executive members. For expert explanations of labor laws and Cal/OSHA regulations, not legal counsel for specific situations, call (800) 348-2262 or submit your question at www.hrcalifornia.com.