Policy Of Cranes and Derricks near Power Lines to Stay until Rule Can Be Changed

Author
Stephanie McCauley

Power-Lines-blog-photo-4.30

Because no proximity alarm or insulating link/device has been developed that meets a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) standard for cranes or derricks working near power lines – a requirement of the current standard – OSHA is making a temporary enforcement policy that has been in effect from July 26, 2012 to November 8, 2013, permanent until it changes the rule to address the unavailability of the required equipment.

This enforcement policy is effective April 30, 2014 and will continue until further notice.

The policy states that a crane or derrick may use a proximity alarm and an insulating link/device along with another measure.

Additional measures include:

  • A dedicated spotter that is positioned to gauge clearance distance with visual aids like line of site landmarks and can give timely information to the operator through direct communication.
  • Range control warning device
  • A Range of movement limiting device that prevents encroachment
  • An elevated warning line visible to the operator

Also an employer may use an insulating link/device manufactured on any date with additional protections such as adequately insulated gloves. The current regulation as it is written puts the cut-off date of non NRTL devices at November 8, 2011.

As they start the rulemaking policy for a permanent solution, OSHA will follow this temporary policy for:

  • Proximity alarm use under 1926.1407-Power line safety (up to 350 kV) assembly and disassembly
  • Proximity alarm and insulating link use under 1926.1408 power line safety (up to 350 kV) equipment operations
  • Proximity alarm and insulating link use under 1926.1409 power line safety (over 350 kV) through 1926.1407 and 1926.1408
  • Insulating link/device use under 1926.1410 power line safety (all voltages) equipment operations closer than the Table A zone.

When the Cranes and Derricks in Construction regulation went into effect on November 8, 2011, OSHA expected there to eventually be proximity alarm or insulating link devices that pass NRTL requirements, but because that did not happen OSHA created the temporary policy on July 2012 to last until November 8, 2013. But that deadline has come and went, so the current interpretation will now be practiced indefinitely while OSHA starts the process of changing the current rule.

2014 Interpretations

In addition to creating new and updating current regulations, OSHA publishes interpretations and answers to questions about existing rules. Here is what has been released in 2014:

  • Construction’s Electrical Power Regulations Final Rule
  • Cranes and Derricks Near Power Lines
  • Recordkeeping for Multiple Business Establishments
  • How to Decide It’s a Workplace Injury
  • Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Reporting of Petroleum Streams
  • Combustible Dust Labeling Requirements in Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)
  • OSHA Definition of A HNOC Clarified for the HCS
  • General Duty Clause Covers All Impalement Hazards
  • Employer Responsible for Determining Qualified Rigger Status
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