Photo courtesy Sarens Group
The new guide will include broader best practices for safe lifting beyond oil-and-gas projects, SC&RA members say.

A respected crane-management tome is soon to receive a much-needed update to make it compliant with current industry standards and safety codes, according to trade group and publisher Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association.

The 120-page book, titled "Exxon Crane Guide: Lifting System Management System," was first published in 1998, and SC&RA has since sold thousands of copies to owners, engineers, contractors, suppliers and others across the construction industry. It details best practices for safe lifting, with charts and forms to help users plan and execute a successful pick.

Its contents grew outdated, however, as industry standards changed. When the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration released its new cranes and derricks standard in 2010, SC&RA officials decided to pull the $75 title from the association's bookstore.

"We didn't want to sell something that was out of date," said Beth O'Quinn, vice president of SC&RA, on April 23 at the group's annual meeting in Boca Raton, Fla. The association stopped selling the book in 2012 and began drafting an update with the working title "SC&RA Guide to Mobile Crane Safety Management."

The revision was "started from scratch," O'Quinn said, adding that it will include new material written by the guide's original authors. The book will contain broader best practices beyond oil-and-gas projects and will no longer be published in partnership with ExxonMobil.

Management guidelines called for in the new book will be less prescriptive, O'Quinn said. For example, industry standards do not clearly define when a formal lift plan is required. That level of detail is usually left to the company performing the lift. The existing Exxon guide, however, defines a critical lift as a situation where the load consumes more than 90% of a crane's rated-capacity chart.

"We want to make sure that it doesn't put any undue burden on the industry or our members," said O'Quinn, adding that the new SC&RA guide will help firms establish such metrics on their in line with current standards and codes.

SC&RA officers plan to release the updated management guide by the third quarter of this year, with a companion field guide to follow soon after. Pricing has not yet been announced.