The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a direct final rule and notice of proposed rulemaking that applies the August 2010 cranes and derricks in construction standard to demolition work and underground construction. According to OSHA, the application of this rule will protect workers from hazards associated with hoisting equipment used during construction activities.

The final rule applies the same cranes and derricks rules to underground construction and demolition that are already being used by other construction sectors. It streamlines OSHA's standards by eliminating the separate cranes and derricks standard currently used in underground and demolition work, and also corrects several errors introduced in the 2010 rulemaking to make it easier for workers and employers to understand and implement these standards.

The final rule takes effect November 15, 2012, unless OSHA receives significant adverse comments. If that happens, the accompanying notice of proposed rulemaking will allow the agency to withdraw the direct final rule and continue the notice-and-comment component of the rulemaking.

Comments may be submitted electronically at the Federal eRulemaking Portal. They may also be faxed or mailed; see the Federal Register notice for details. Comments are due by September 17.