Issue Brief

Businesses operating crane and rigging equipment of all types and sizes, especially in densely populated city centers, present a litany of assumed working hazards and potential public misconceptions.  SC&RA and its member companies join together to explain the intricacies of rigging, lifting and millwrighting to numerous city, state and federal policymakers, regulators, and the media.  SC&RA’s actions are designed to limit overreaching rules and burdensome regulations that ultimately create more risk, cost and lost time for member companies and the industry.

SC&RA Working Positions

Recently, SC&RA has been involved in three crane related rulings:

  1. Protecting the definition of “load” when using rigging equipment - In May 2016, a Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) inspector issued a citation to an SC&RA member for rigging personnel not staying clear of a suspended load. The ‘load’ in question was a spreader bar that was not yet attached to the load.  Sims Crane is disputing the citation based on the current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard which does not consider a spreader beam part of the load.  During their appeal, an MSHA administrative law judge concluded that the use of a spreader bar creates a ‘load’ because MSHA’s own regulations do not define the term ‘load.’ The judge also stated that the OSHA standard is not legally binding on the MSHA.

    SC&RA is continuing to work with its members, other industry organizations, associations and labor unions while monitoring this issue.  A resolution is expected in early 2017.

  2. New York City, NY – Immediately following a February 2016 fatal accident in New York City, all crawler crane operations were shut down and unrealistic wind speed requirements were imposed.  Additionally, the City put together a panel comprised of individuals with limited construction backgrounds to review wind speeds and their impact on crane operations.  SC&RA requested the Mayor reconsider the composition of the committee and include at least one or two industry representatives to assist with their research. Although we were not successful in obtaining an industry seat on the Review Panel, SC&RA was subsequently granted a seat on the Crane Rules Advisory Committee which provides direct feedback to the New York City Crane Safety Technical Working Group.

    In October 2016, after the NYC Crane Working Group released its Crawler Crane Safety Requirements five associations, which include many SC&RA members, filed suit in New York State Supreme Court to block the Working Group’s requirements. The Suit argues that these requirements would implement a potentially arbitrary and dangerous construction policy on companies operating in New York City.  The results of this suit are still ongoing.  SC&RA is continuing to monitor this issue as it moves forward. 

  3. Cincinnati, OH – In 2016, the City of Cincinnati introduced a proposed ordinance in its attempt to strengthen crane safety within the city limits.  Two key aspects of the ordinance (limiting the age of cranes working within the city and imposing minimum insurance limits) would have serious impacts on member companies operating in Cincinnati’s crane and rigging market.  These regulations also would have provided an unfair competitive advantage to larger companies which could have prohibited smaller companies from bidding on jobs in Cincinnati.  SC&RA immediately contacted the Allied Construction Industries Association of Ohio (ACI), Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and the European Federation of Manufacturers (FEM) to discuss ways the groups could work together on this issue.  SC&RA wrote Cincinnati’s Mayor, expressing concern with the proposed ordinance and requested they reconsider the proposed language.  The City Council ultimately voted and passed revised Ordinance #92-2016, which included revised insurance limits in line with industry norms and removed the requirement that cranes working in the City must be less than 20 years old.

Latest Issue Updates