10/05/2006 - 05:00 am

C-DAC Still Years Away

The proposed safety standard for cranes and derricks continues to make its way through OSHA's maze of directorates, offices, and committees. September 2006 is the next important date looming ahead, when a report from the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SEBREFA) panel is due. The standard next goes to the Solicitor's Office while the Office of Construction Standards and Guidance concurrently works on the Preamble.

During presentations to the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association at its convention in Hilton Head, S.C., OSHA representatives, including Bruce Swanson, the director of the Directorate of Construction, addressed concerns about how long the regulatory process is taking for the standard to come to fruition. While early 2008 was mentioned as the most optimistic timeframe for the standard to be issued for public comment, according to Swanson, it is more realistic that it will take seven to eight years for C-DAC to become a regulation • that's if it is “not derailed during the next election year.”

“The standard that is in the oven is a good standard, but the fact is that we're baking it with a lightbulb,” said Swanson. “It will still be a good standard when it's finished, but it's just going to take awhile.”

The proposed standard resulted from the efforts of the Crane and Derrick Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee (C-DAC), which met nearly every month for a year before achieving consensus on July 9, 2004. C-DAC is only the second time Negotiated Rulemaking has been applied to the development of a new regulation. While the process for it to become law is lengthy, few in the crane industry would disagree that the substance of the proposed standard is worthwhile.

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