Crane Ownership: A Morality Play

Small employers and owner/operators of cranes are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to complying with OSHA’s new Cranes and Derricks in Construction rule. To a degree, it’s simply a manpower issue—these individuals have to wear many hats besides crane owner and operator, including salesperson, accountant, and safety director. They may lack the time and resources to quickly understand the complexities of the regulation.

Yet the services they offer are vital to the regions and niche markets they serve. These are crane owners with fleets as small as one machine doing HVAC placement, lifting furniture, setting trees for landscaping, and other odd jobs. Many of them own boom trucks and small truck or AT cranes. Many have safe records as crane providers. So I was sad to learn that one of these owner/operators has decided to leave the business, in part because he’s not sure he’ll be protected under the new rule when working with unqualified riggers and/or signalpersons employed by the customer for whom he’s hired to do a job.

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