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Crane safety is focus of OSHA emphasis program in the Northwest

New program aims to curb maritime and construction fatalities

SEATTLE – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is launching a program aimed at reducing serious injuries and fatalities associated with the operation of cranes in construction, general industry and maritime operations for employers under federal OSHA jurisdiction in Idaho, Alaska, Washington and Oregon.

“We know that most of these injuries and fatalities are preventable with adequate training and proper attention to safety controls,” said Dean Ikeda, regional administrator for OSHA’s Region X, which is based in Seattle. “Our goal is to highlight the safety concerns and help employers and employees take steps to reduce the incidents related to crane operations. We want to improve safety for those working with or in the zone of danger where a crane is in use.”

OSHA has investigated 13 fatal accidents involving cranes in the past five years in areas where the federal agency has jurisdiction in the four Northwestern states. The most common hazards leading to serious injuries and fatalities are crane tip-overs, being struck by a crane, electrocutions, being caught in between a crane and other equipment or objects, and falls from the equipment.

To help improve compliance and prevent injuries and deaths for those working on cranes, OSHA compliance officers will conduct inspections at ports, construction sites and other locations where cranes are in use. OSHA will also conduct outreach, training, on-site consultation and use partnerships, alliances, and participation in the Voluntary Protection Program in an effort to improve compliance and prevent serious injuries and fatalities.

Federal OSHA’s jurisdiction is shared with state-run safety and health programs in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Federal OSHA has full jurisdiction for safety and health in Idaho. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards should call OSHA’s Region X office at 206-757-6700 or the Boise Area Office at 208-321-2960.

 

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