OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA Trade Release
Monday, September 15, 2003
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999
Regulation of Common Industry Practice to Improve Worker Safety
WASHINGTON, DC -- A proposed revision of OSHA's Longshoring and Marine Terminals Standards is expected to improve the safety of the nation's longshore workers dealing with vertical tandem lifting of containers, the agency announced today. OSHA will publish a notice in tomorrow's Federal Register seeking comments on a proposal to permit the lifting of two containers stacked vertically together with a combined weight of containers and cargo up to 20 tons.
"Our primary goal is ensuring the safety and health of workers," said John Henshaw, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. "By addressing vertical tandem lifts we hope to achieve a win-win for workers, their employers and government."
OSHA's final Longshoring Standard and related sections of the Marine Terminals Standard, published in 1997, discussed vertical tandem lifts but did not cover them. At that time, the Agency did not have sufficient information to regulate effectively in this area. Since then, research studies, additional industry experience, the establishment of international standards and guidance, and comments and testimony from an agency's public meeting in January 1998, provided OSHA with enough information to propose this revision.
The revision provides safe work procedures (engineering, work-practice, and administrative controls) for lifting two empty or loaded containers with a total weight of up to 20 tons. It also includes requirements for the certification and annual inspection of liftlocks, installation of mandatory load indication devices on cranes, restrictions on hazardous materials that can be lifted in tandem, and a plan for transporting vertical containers in terminals.
Vertical Tandem Lifts can reduce the time it takes to load or unload containers from a ship by an estimated 5 to 10 percent. Although there are some costs associated with extra engineering and work practice controls, evidence indicates that these costs are outweighed by the overall savings in time.
The request for comment is scheduled for publication in the September 16, 2003 Federal Register. Comments and hearing requests on the proposed rule must be submitted by December 15, 2003, to: OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. S-025A, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 20210. Comments may also be submitted via fax by calling (202) 693-2350, or electronically to http://ecomments.osha.gov.
OSHA is dedicated to assuring worker safety and health. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.
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