Saturday, July 19, 2008

Regulating Cranes

A news article about the crane that collapsed in Houston notes:
Texas is one of 35 states that does not require crane operators to be licensed. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires cranes to undergo annual inspections, but it is up to crane owners in the state to police themselves.
It seems to me that there are plenty of other ways in which crane owners are regulated. 1. Employees will demand more wages if they have to work in cranes that will collapse. 2. Employees at firms that hire cranes will demand more to work around collapsing cranes, so other firms have an incentive to regulate their safety. 3. Legal remedies provide another source of regulation of crane companies. 4. And yes....the profits of a crane owners company do discipline them to not let cranes collapse.

It's not a question of whether or not the industry will be regulated, but who will do the regulating.

No comments: