The construction industry in Washington state is unprepared to meet a new rule that will require about 10,000 cranes to be inspected by Jan. 1, 2010. The new rule also requires operators to pass a state drug-and-skills exam.
“Crane operators have been busy,” says Hector Castro, a spokesman for the state’s Dept. of Labor & Industries. “The lag has been with the cranes themselves.” So far, only 700 out of an estimated 10,000 cranes affected by the new rule have received operating permits, he says. As of Dec. 16, about 2,000 operators had passed the exams and received licenses.