Webinar sorts out OSHA’s new crane rule for materials delivery

Updated May 8, 2013
Does your material delivery fall under the new OSHA regs? Depends on the type of crane you use and what you do with it.Does your material delivery fall under the new OSHA regs? Depends on the type of crane you use and what you do with it.

Yesterday, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association hosted a webinar that examined how the new OSHA crane rules affect the delivery of construction materials to building sites. The webinar comes highly recommended to anyone who delivers or takes delivery of construction materials using any kind of crane.

If you missed the first one, it will be offered again on Tuesday, April 30, 11 a.m. to 12 noon ET and again on Thursday, May 2, 3-4 p.m. ET. (Go to www.Dealer.org for more information.)

In a nutshell,  if all you do is drive up to the site, drop the materials on the ground and drive off, you’re in the clear. In OSHA-speak that’s translated as “out of scope”—as in, out of the scope of the regulation.

But the moment you position, stack or sequence the materials in such a manner as to assist or help facilitate the construction of the building, then you’re “in-scope,” and as such have to have drivers or crane operators trained to the new standards.

There are exemptions to the “in-scope” rules. If you use an articulating knuckle-boom crane with a fork or cradle assembly, and that crane is equipped with an automatic overload protection device, and you’re delivering packaged or sheet goods (drywall, roofing felt, bundled shingles) you’re in the clear—as long as the crane is not used to hold, support or stabilize the material in a way that facilitates construction.

But if you use a telescoping or stick-boom crane, or provide any staging, support or stabilization of the materials, or use a crane without the automatic overload protection device and a fork or cradle assembly, that puts you back “in-scope.”

Regina McMichael, president of the Learning Factory, presented the webinar and recommended that lumber and materials delivery companies contact their crane and truck manufacturers to make sure they have the right type of crane and fork/cradle assembly to be compliant with the new regulations.

She also said material dealers should talk with the contractors they work with and make sure the contractors know that dealer’s drivers may not be able to help sequence or position materials during deliveries as may have been the case in the past.

The official OSHA reg is, as with most government regulations, a difficult read, and you could face situations that require expert interpretation; which is why I recommend the webinar. As a participants you can ask the presenters questions specific to your needs.

We’ll write more on this subject and the training that OSHA requires for “in-scope” operations in future articles on the website and in coming print editions of Equipment World magazine.