OSHAOSHA has published a final rule that broadens the current exemption for digger derricks used in the electric-utility industry. Digger derricks are pieces of equipment used to drill holes for utility poles. These digger derricks are commonly used by companies to place poles inside holes and attach transformers and other items to the poles.

The digger derricks exemption is part of the Cranes and Derricks final standard that was issued Aug. 9, 2010. After publication of this standard, OSHA received comments about the scope of the exemption. Upon review of these comments, OSHA decided to revise the current exemption for digger derricks to cover all digger-derrick use in the electric-utility industry.

The rule will become effective Feb. 7, 2013, unless OSHA receives significant adverse comment by Dec. 10. See the Federal Register notice for more details.