NPGA submits comment against crane rule to OSHA

July 9, 2018 By    

The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) submitted a 244-page comment strongly opposing certain provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) notice of proposed rulemaking addressing operator qualification for cranes and derricks in construction.

In its comment, NPGA stated OSHA should expressly exclude the operation of cranes in the delivery or retrieval of propane containers from the regulation.

To require propane field technicians who use cranes to deliver and/or retrieve propane containers to obtain the same third-party certifications as construction crane operators would be unlawful, would impose costs far greater than any purported benefits and would violate fundamental principles adopted by the administration of President Trump concerning agency rulemaking, the association added in its comment.

“Through our comment, OSHA should conclude that the use of a crane by propane field technicians to deliver or retrieve propane containers is not an activity within the scope of the cranes and derricks in construction regulation,” says Rick Roldan, NPGA president and CEO. “Past errors by the agency must be corrected in the final rule, and should it be necessary, OSHA should delay the current November 10, 2018, compliance deadline to afford the agency appropriate time to review and rectify these issues.”

More than 700 comments were received by the deadline and nearly 90 percent supported NPGA’s position, the association reports. The cranes and derricks in construction proposal was open for comment between May 21 and July 5.

NPGA has long-held objections to the regulation and its applicability to the propane industry. At the onset, NPGA challenged the regulation’s relevance to propane tank delivery and subsequently argued for exclusion from the regulation.

OSHA maintains the regulation is activity-specific rather than industry-specific, meaning the requirements of the regulation may cover some propane tank deliveries by articulating or mobile cranes.

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About the Author:

Joe McCarthy was an associate editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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