The N.C. Dept. of Labor announced that the state’s new crane safety standard went into effect Oct. 1.

As a result of a series of fatal crane accidents across the country in 2008, the N.C. Department of Labor began discussions with crane industry officials in the state to discuss a draft standard in 2008.

"North Carolina has taken a giant step forward toward elevating the safety of crane operators and construction workers across our state by adopting this standard," Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said.

Some of the companies that worked with the Labor Dept. to develop the standard included Skanska, Balfour Beatty Construction, Heede Southeast, BE&K, Cox & Schepp, Edifice, Arcadis and Buckner Cos.

NCDOL's Education, Training and Technical Assistance Bureau is offering training classes across the state to educate workers on the new standard.

Key provisions of the standard were: including new types of cranes that have been developed over the past 30 years; having a qualified person to address hazards associated with crane assembly and disassembly; ensuring ground conditions are adequate for setup; requiring specific precautions when cranes are near power lines; instituting a certification requirement for operators; requiring signal persons meet specified qualifications; updating requirements for cranes on barges; and other requirements.