David Galt, Senior Legal Editor
I'm very busy inspecting the nuts and bolts of OSHA’s new crane and derrick rules for construction work that go into effect on November 8, 2010. The scope of the rule changes for the crane community may seem like overload, so we’ll try to by break down the new requirements into simpler, lighter pieces.
One area of potential confusion is equipment inspections. I found that only a “qualified” person will be allowed to conduct the annual inspections of crane equipment, instead of the “competent” person under the crane rules that are in effect until November 8. A qualified person requires a higher level of expertise than the competent person.
The new rules (see 29 CFR 1926.1412, Inspections) say that only a qualified person can conduct annual inspections of equipment, inspections of modified, repaired, and adjusted equipment, and inspections after equipment has been assembled. The competent person may conduct the work shift and monthly equipment inspections and as long as the person has been trained in the required elements of a shift inspection.
The crane or derrick operator can be the inspector, but only if the operator meets the respective requirements for a qualified or competent person.
A qualified person is defined in the rules as “a person who by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, successfully demonstrates the ability to solve/resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.”
A competent person is defined as someone who is “capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.”
Read New Rule for Cranes and Derricks in Construction Summary for more information about training requirements for qualified person, competent person, crane operator, and other requirements of the new crane rule.
There is detailed regulatory analysis of the crane rules that cover the credentials of the qualified person, competent person, and training requirements for crane operators.