Our Safety Director, Mandi Kime, reports that the Department of Labor and Industries has postponed the compliance deadline for new rigger rules to February 1, 2013.
When the Crane Safety Standards were promulgated they included provisions related specifically to riggers. See Subsection (3) of WAC 295-155-53306 for rigger requirements, including the requirement that riggers demonstrate that they meet the requirements of the subsection through a written test and through a practical test.
The department announced expedited rulemaking in order to clarify the scope, address concerns and more closely mirror the new federal requirements. Upon announcing the expedited rulemaking effort, the Department also announced an extension to the compliance deadline for this part of the rule. NOTE: this delay only applies to the rigging requirements, not the remaining construction crane safety rules.
The filing took place in June, and during the comment period, enough letters of opposition to the “expedited” nature of the rulemaking were received, that the Department will now have to go back to a full rulemaking effort in August after the comment period closes.
What does this mean to you? Since the rulemaking effort has been adjusted to a more thorough, slow process it means that there is room for stakeholders to speak up and the Department to modify parts of the rule language. So, if you have not qualified your riggers to the new standards, it may be a good time to hold off a while longer until we see what the rule language will actually be after stakeholder input.
Regardless of how the stakeholder input process goes, the rules do not require you to meet the written and practical exam segment until February 1, 2013. You really only need to have your riggers qualified to current standards of Qualified Person which reads:
A person who has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve problems relating to the subject matter, work, or project, either by: Possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing; OR Extensive knowledge, training and experience.
For more info and to keep updated on the rule developments see the L&I page on Cranes (these developments are so recent that the Department does not have current info regarding the extended compliance date up yet).