Feds to release new crane rules

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal government is to announce updated rules for cranes that for the first time will require crane operators across the nation to pass certification tests.

It will be the Department of Labor's first update of the regulations for cranes and derricks since 1971. Lawmakers had pressured the government to update the rules following several high-profile crane accidents, including two in New York City and a Houston crane collapse.

The draft rules will require crane operators to pass written and practical tests in all 50 states and will also require more training. Just 15 states and six cities require the tests.

Edwin G. Foulke Jr., the assistant secretary for labor for Occupational Safety and Health, says the new regulations will protect construction workers and help to prevent future crane accidents.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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