OSHA Schedules Hearing on Cranes and Derricks Rulemaking


OSHA has scheduled an informal public hearing March 17 in Washington on rulemaking to update its standards involving cranes and derricks. The agency published the long-awaited proposed standard on Oct. 9, but on Jan. 26 extended the comment period.

OSHA said it received a number of requests from stakeholders seeking to comment in person at the hearing. In addition, some expressed dissatisfaction that the proposed standard veered from some consensus recommendations offered by a 23-member negotiated rulemaking committee, which submitted a draft proposal to OSHA in July 2004.

Stakeholders are expected to seek changes on wide-ranging provisions in the rulemaking, including crane assembly and disassembly, operation near power lines, operator certification and training, use of safety devices and signals, and crane inspection.

NIOSH evaluates power line warning devices

A new NIOSH report (.pdf file) evaluates the performance of two types of overhead power line proximity warning devices.

The PWDs are intended to warn personnel when mobile equipment comes within a minimum distance to an energized overhead electrical power line. Unintentional contact between such power lines and mobile equipment accounts for 20 percent of on-the-job electrocutions, according to NIOSH.

The agency said results from the evaluation show many factors can adversely affect the PWDs’ performance and recommended further research be conducted.

CDC releases 2009-2018 injury agenda

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has outlined key priorities that will direct its research during the next decade.

The agency’s updated Injury Research Agenda for 2009-2018 (.pdf file) lists many priority topics for focusing injury research, including injury response, acute injury care, traumatic brain injury and unintentional injury prevention.

The injury center’s initial agenda was published in 2002 to guide research through 2007. The revised agenda reviews research accomplishments to date and progress toward achieving the goals outlined in the original agenda.

The agenda noted that during 2005, 173,753 injury-related deaths occurred in the United States – including 43,667 motor vehicle accidents, 23,618 poisonings and 19,656 falls.

HOME AND COMMUNITY NEWSPeople fail to seek shelter from storms: report

Many people do not seek cover during a severe weather warning because they have no safe place to go, according a report from the National Weather Service.

The “Service Assessment” report (.pdf file), “Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak of February 5-6, 2008,” analyzed agency warning efforts and community response to the Super Tuesday tornadoes, the second-deadliest tornado event in U.S. history.

According to the report, local communities received warnings an average of 17 minutes in advance of the tornadoes, and forecasts several days prior. Most were aware of the dangerous weather, yet two-thirds of the tornado victims were in mobile homes with no access to a safe shelter. The majority of fatalities occurred overnight. Some survivors reported they failed to heed warnings because February is not part of the traditional tornado season and because of what the report dubbed “optimism bias” – the belief that bad things only happen to other people.

As a result of the report findings, the National Weather Service said it will improve the wording of future warning messages and continue to use social science research in storm assessments to better understand resident response.