Washington – OSHA provides specific exemptions and explanations for railroad road works in its Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard.

According to a final rule published in the Federal Register on September 15, the exceptions and clarifications are intended to “acknowledge the unique equipment and circumstances involved in railway road works” and reflect the exemption from OSHA requirements by the Federal Railway Administration’s regulations, including those for safe Operation of railway road maintenance machines with cranes or other lifting devices.

Some of the exceptions apply to high speed butt welding vehicles, the use of rail stops and rail clamps, pulling a load sideways, working out of level and limiting devices for boom lifts for booms with hydraulic cylinders. Operator training and certification is in accordance with FRA regulations, as OSHA stated in a September 14 press release.

This rule-making culminated in a 10-year period that began when the Association of American Railroads and a number of individual railways filed a petition published in August 2010 against the Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard.

OSHA released a notice of the proposed rule-making in July 2018 after reaching a settlement agreement with these organizations. Almost a year later, the FRA informed OSHA that it intended to bypass many of the requirements of the NPRM.

As a rule, OSHA states: “Although an exception to the OSHA requirements resulting from the FRA’s exemption from OSHA statutory powers would apply whether or not the OSHA regulations contain certain exceptions , OSHA deems an amendment to the Code of Federal Regulations appropriate. CFR) to include the explicit exceptions for RMMs in the OSHA crane standard. The exceptions set out in the OSHA crane standard provide additional clarity to employers in the rail industry, including contractors who may not be familiar with the legal implications of FRA’s actions. “

The rule is scheduled to take effect on November 16.