SC&RA and members support Sims Crane in disputing MSHA ruling

- SC&RA wishes to thank its members who filed an Amicus Curiae (commonly known as “Friend of the Court”) Notice concerning the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission’s ruling on May 3 against Sims Crane. The ruling, which regarded workers walking below a spreader bar to connect rigging to the load, stated: “The citation at issue alleges that Sims’ crane operator and helper did not stay clear of a suspended load, violating MSHA standard 30 C.F.R., section 56.16009.”  

The section cited states “that persons shall stay clear of suspended loads” and, based on a dictionary definition of “load,” Judge McCarthy concluded “that the spreader bar constituted a ‘load’ for purposes of 30 C.F.R., section 56.16009.”  

SC&RA believes this ruling is contrary to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and could essentially prevent the attachment of rigging to loads, which would be extremely detrimental to the industry and crane operations across the country.  On May 23, Sims Crane filed a Petition For Discretionary Review, which set forth the specific facts and Sims arguments to overturn this Mining Health and Safety Administration (MSHA) Order.

SC&RA filed an Amicus Brief in support of Sims Crane as part of a coalition that also included the International Union of Operating Engineers; Crane Owners Association; Mobile Crane Operators Group; and the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers.

While working on the Amicus Brief, SC&RA reached out to members who agreed with the Association that the ruling is incorrect. SC&RA asked them to make their voice heard by completing an Amicus Curieae Notice attached to the email and joining “in support of an issue that will adversely impact the entire crane and rigging industry.” Noted the email to members: “We, as an industry, cannot allow unrealistic, infeasible and burdensome citations to go unnoticed when they will impact the very nature of our businesses.”  

The deadline for filing an Amicus Notice in the case was June 2. SC&RA wishes to correctly track the number of members who filed a notice. If you participated in this effort, but have not yet notified the Association, please forward a copy to SC&RA Vice President Beth O’Quinn at  

Click here to review Sims Crane’s Petition for Discretionary Review with Exhibits.

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