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Top Construction Safety Priorities at OSHA

January 31 2007

Officials with the construction safety office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have cited two proposed rules as the office?s top regulatory priorities. Rules on both cranes and confined spaces are expected to be published this year. The proposed rule on confined space will not be published in February, the target date, it must first go through a 90 day approval process at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) at the White House.

Proposed changes to the crane and derrick rule are expected to be published by October OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke said. After a preamble is written for the rule and the agency has reviewed the proposal, it will then undergo a review by OMB. The basis for the new rule stems from the work of the 23 members of the Cranes and Derricks Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee (C-DAC). The committee, whose members represent equipment makers, crane rental companies, unions, and contractors, first worked on the rule in 2004, the first time anyone had touched it for 30 years. According to OSHA, crane accidents account for close to 80 construction deaths every year.

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