New rules cover caution with machinery, crane inspection

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued some new laws concerning companies that work with machines and other heavy equipment.

OSHA has issued a pending rule that will update the allowable occupational exposure to Beryllium. All of the chemicals regulated by OSHA are changed periodically to ensure workers’ safety. Employers who use chemicals may wish to review OSHA regulations for permitted exposure levels.

Generally, OSHA recommends workers wear personal protective equipment when dealing with hazardous chemicals, and training employees in hazard communication also will help keep them safe.

Crane equipment has new enforcement directive
OSHA has issued a new directive for inspecting cranes, specifically Subpart CC of 29 CFR Part 1926. This specific rule was published Nov. 8, 2010 and now has been updated. Otherwise the rules for inspecting cranes remain the same.

Subpart CC has changed in terms of what items are excluded from crane inspections and what items must be inspected as if they were cranes. Machines that now are explicitly excluded from crane inspections include digger derricks, wreckers and tow trucks. This equipment will now be inspected under the rules appropriate for each machine.

An abbreviated list of inspection procedures for cranes includes checking the ground underneath the crane to ensure it is properly stable and won’t collapse. Additionally, the equipment should meet a quick visual check for any obvious signs of damage. The workers who operate the crane should have their licenses and qualifications. They should also be using a familiar communication system with the signal person who helps the spot the crane operator to prevent accidents.

Furthermore, OSHA recommends the rigging equipment for the crane to be in proper order. OSHA also calls for inspectors to verify that the equipment is adequate for lifting the weight of the items and for mechanics to hold qualifications for working on the crane.

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