Since new certification rules took effect at the beginning of the year the media has covered the topic of crane safety sometimes painting a picture that is not totally accurate particularly for AGC members.
One angle picked up by the local news is the fact that relatively few cranes have been certified. Although that is true on the face of it it can be easily explained by the state of the economy: far fewer cranes are in actual operation right now compared to recent years!
A more recent news report included this line: “A surprising number of cranes are failing new state safety inspections even though the construction industry has had ample time to get into compliance.”
Regarding the “surprising number” of failures it is important to note that none of these were serious enough to warrant citations and penalties. And as a group AGC members appear to be showing excellent compliance.
AGC takes issue with the “ample time to get into compliance” statement as L&I conducted little outreach to the industry prior to the compliance period. For example during the development and implementation periods there was no advisement by regular inspectors that this rule was coming.
L&I relied on groups such as AGC to spread the word. While this approach may have left some segments of the industry to play “catch up” with regard to the new rules AGC members have had the opportunity to benefit from active engagement. The AGC Safety Department and in particular the AGC Crane Safety Task Force has long been working to inform AGC members of the rules and to provide assistance to help them comply.
As one more reminder of what the new rules require click Cranes 2010 Checklist. For more information contact AGC’s Director of Safety Mandi Kime 206-284-0061.