By Katie Chimelewski, director of safety and certification, ARTBA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Sept. 15 announced a final rule on its crane and derrick standard for projects involving railroad tracks. The move is intended to avoid confusion with Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) oversight of this equipment.

The Federal Register notice explains that OSHA will provide specific exemptions and clarifications to the standard for the unique equipment and circumstances of railroad work. Highlights of the exemptions and clarifications include:

  • Flash-butt welding trucks and equipment with similar attachments;
  • Training, certification, assessment, and evaluation of operators of roadway maintenance machines (RMMs);
  • Employer exemption from requirements on work-area control, rail clamps, and rail stops;
  • Out-of-level work, dragging a load sideways, and boom-hoist limiting devices; and
  • Manufacturer guidance for equipment modifications.

The rule is effective Nov. 16.

ARTBA closely monitors and regularly comments on OSHA regulatory activity related to the crane and derrick rule as an association and through its membership in the Construction Industry Safety Coalition. For more information, please contact ARTBA’s Director of Safety & Certification Katie Chimelewski.