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Safety Standard Extended to Demolition & Underground Construction Workers
October 24, 2012
7:51 AM
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OSHA has issued a direct final rule and notice of proposed rulemaking that eliminates the separate cranes and derricks standard currently used for underground and demolition work and applies the requirements of the cranes and derricks in construction standard. Barring any significant adverse comments, the rule will take effect Nov. 15.

The revisions "will benefit both employees and employers," OSHA said in its direct final rule published in the Federal Register. "These revisions will ensure that the significant benefits of subpart CC, which include saving 22 lives per year and preventing 175 nonfatal injuries per year compared to [the prior section], extend to demolition and underground construction. Accordingly, applying subpart CC to demolition and underground construction will ensure that construction workers in those sectors receive the same safety protections from new subpart CC as other construction workers."

Construction contractors that engage in underground construction or demolition work would be subject to a single standard rather than having some activities covered under subpart CC and other work covered by subpart DD. "This action will avoid the confusion that would result if new subpart CC covers part of a project and [a revised section] covers another part of the project," OSHA said.

As an example, OSHA said in a cut-and-cover tunneling project, the underground construction standard applies "only after covering the excavation in such a manner as to establish conditions characteristic of underground construction. Therefore, under the current requirements, subpart CC would apply to the work while the excavation is open, but after covering the excavation, subpart DD would apply."

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