FMCSA Grants Rest-Break Exemption to Concrete Pump Operators

 

Safety and Health Magazine --- Concrete pump operators, concrete pumping companies and drivers who operate concrete pumps now are exempt from a 30-minute rest break requirement in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s hours-of-service regulations.

The exemption is effective through March 21, 2019, but FMCSA reserves the right to revoke or restrict the exemption for any driver or organization that fails to comply with its terms and conditions.

As part of the exemption, concrete pump operators will be able to count on-duty time toward HOS regulations provided they are attending equipment but performing no other work-related activity. FMCSA granted the exemption after analyzing a request from the American Concrete Pumping Association, which represents more than 600 member organizations that employ approximately 7,000 workers.

According to FMCSA, the exemption request from ACPA stated that “the mandatory 30-minute rest break increases the risk of dangerous conditions on jobsites. A mandatory break during which the concrete pump operator is considered to be ‘off duty’ would require the pump to be shut down and likely cleaned out. Stopping the flow of concrete through the pump creates the risk of introducing air in the pump’s pipe system, which in turn could cause hose-whipping that can injure not only the pump operator, but any personnel within reach of the hose.”

FMCSA determined the exemption would have no negative safety consequences.