Division of Labor and Industry


Key Points of the Maryland Crane Safety Regulations - Crane Safety Task Force


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  • The regulations are designed to prevent accidents that could cause serious injury or death related to the operation of cranes when used in construction, demolition, and maintenance.
  • With few exceptions, these regulations apply to all cranes and crane operations in construction, demolition, and maintenance and include erection, operation, and dismantling of tower cranes.
  • An employer may not require or permit an individual to operate a crane unless an individual has been trained successfully and has passed a written examination that tests the knowledge and skills necessary for safe crane operation. Additionally, every five years a crane operator must show that they have maintained the knowledge, skills, and abilities to operate a crane proficiently and safely. There are special provisions for individuals learning to become a crane operator.
  • Individuals who rig loads will be characterized by three classes depending upon experience, training, and work performed, including: Level 1 Rigger, Level II Rigger, or Master-Lead Rigger. An employer may not permit an individual to rig loads to be lifted by a crane unless the individual has received training and has experience appropriate to their level of work.
  • An employer may not permit an individual to provide direction or signal a crane unless the individual has received appropriate training, including proper usage of standard crane hand signals.
  • An employer who employs individuals, who signal or operate cranes or perform rigging of loads to be hoisted, must be included in the employer's mandatory alcohol and drug-free workplace policy.
  • In addition to drug testing, an individual operating a crane must successfully complete a physical examination to ensure they can safely operate the crane. 
    " In lieu of required training, an employer may accept the completed training from an apprenticeship program or certification from a nationally recognized and independent body.


  • Mandatory inspections and documentation will be required on all cranes when first placed in service, daily when operating, and annually. The inspections must be conducted in accordance with the manufacturer's requirements and national consensus guidelines to verify the operational safety of the equipment.
  • Inspection records must be maintained and kept for three years following all inspections conducted.


  • Pre-erection inspections must be conducted of all tower cranes and supporting components by a qualified person to determine the appropriate and safe methods to set up the tower crane on the site.
  • Employers must ensure that when cranes are erected, dismantled, jumped, or reconfigured, that they follow the manufacturer's instructions and they know the weights and safe lifting methods for each sub-assembly.
  • Tower cranes can only be erected, dismantled, jumped, or reconfigured when a master-lead rigger is available on-site supervising the process.
  • Employers must ensure that job safety briefings are held with the crew involved with the jumping operation, whenever the boom, jib, or counter-jib is to be reconfigured, or whenever a tower crane is to be dismantled, and each day it continues.
  • All erection, dismantling, and crane inspections must be conducted in accordance with recognized industry practices (Chapters 3-1 and 3-2 of the ASME B30.3-2004).


  • Employers must maintain a written record of the training for each crane operator, crane operator trainee, signalperson, and rigger, and these records must be maintained for three years.


  • An employer must ensure that each time a special lift takes place that a master-lead rigger is available on the site and engaged in the process, including the inspection by the master-lead rigger of the rigging used in the special lift.
  • All rigging used must meet the rigging manufacturer's limitations and requirements.
  • Forty-eight hours prior to the commencement of any special lift, the employer must notify the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, and notice must include the name of the employer, general or managing contractor, type of special lift, site location, specific site within the location, site contact person and phone number, equipment involved, and planned time.