The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) is appealing to the US Department of Homeland Security to confirm that the crane, rigging, and specialised transportation industry is classified as Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.

The list identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centres, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centres, working construction, and performing management functions, among others.

According to the SC&RA, the industries they support represent, but are not necessarily limited to, medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defence, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works.

As the crane, rigging and specialised transportation industry plays key supporting roles to many of the industries deemed critical infrastructure, SC&RA and its member companies are working closely with government officials at all levels during this Covid-19 pandemic so that equipment and material are delivered.

As a result of the Covid-19 crisis, it is expected that there will be a reduced availability of personnel in the transport industry. This will impact both truck drivers, road transport authorities and those that provide escort services.

To compensate for this anticipated decline in personnel, the state of Maryland has altered its requirements for law enforcement escorts. Effective immediately, the weight requirement for police escorts will be for loads exceeding 200,000 lbs (90.7 tonnes). The dimensions that require police escorts – 16 ft (4.9 m) wide and 16 ft high – remain the same.

For shipments leaving the port of Baltimore, loads with a height over 15 ft (4.6 m) will still require law enforcement escorts. Likewise, the requirements for loads arriving at the port – a height of more than 14 ft 6 inches (4.4 m) – remain in place.

Private escort requirements also remain the same and will be re-evaluated as necessary, said the state.

Still, it is likely that there will be more changes to the permit system and the regulations around escorts of oversized or overweight loads. The pandemic’s affect on the crane, rigging and specialised transportation industry is changing daily.

SC&RA subject matter experts are working with government officials to keep its Crisis Command Center up to date with timely, accurate information for companies active in the sector.

You can see the latest updates here.