Crane industry focusing on safety following accidents

Representatives from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, the SC&RA Tower Crane Task Force and the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators held a press briefing in Washington, D.C., June 5 to discuss safety initiatives and standards following several tower crane accidents during the past few months.

The SC&RA Tower Crane Task Force, formed in April, will review tower crane incidents and related issues, said Joel Dandrea, executive vice president, Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association. “The group will put forth a set of industry ‘best practices’ to help prevent accidents and injuries in the future,” he said. “The task force will also work on legislation that will improve jobsite safety.”

Slightly more than 4 percent of all crane related fatalities were attributed to tower crane incidents during a seven-year study period conducted by the University of Tennessee, said Frank Bardonaro, chairman, SC&RA Tower Crane Task Force. “Our target is zero accidents and injuries,” he said.

Recommendations included uniformity of standards nationwide, improved training and certification procedures and ensuring contractors follow manufacturers’ erection procedures. The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators offers tower crane operator certification as well as mobile crane operator, overhead crane operator, rigger, signalperson and articulating crane operator programs. Nine states have adopted the CCO program. West Virginia, Hawaii, New Jersey, California, Montana, New Mexico, Minnesota, Nevada, and Utah all require crane operators to have NCCO qualifications. Four other states, Washington, Florida, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Iowa have proposed legislation to pass the CCO initiative.