• Henry Seaton

HOS exemption sought for concrete pump operators

The American Concrete Pumping Association (ACPA) has applied for an exemption from the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations that would allow commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers operating concrete pumps to satisfy the 30-minute rest break requirement through 30 minutes or more of on-duty waiting time.

Due to the nature of pumper operations, ACPA believes that compliance with the 30-minute rest break rule increases the risk of dangerous conditions on job sites. A mandatory 30-minute rest break during which the concrete pump operator is considered to be “off-duty” would require the concrete pump to be shut down, and likely cleaned out, ACPA said in its petition. Stopping the flow of concrete through the pump creates the risk of introducing air in the pump's pipe system. When air gets in the pump's pipe system, the risk of hose whipping is created, which can injure not only the pump operator, but any personnel within reach of the hose, ACPA told FMCSA.

ACPA also argues that concrete pump operators already take regular rest breaks throughout the typical day, depending on the work flow at the job site, so an additional 30-minute rest break does not enhance overall job safety.

FMCSA requests public comment by November 25 on ACPA's application.

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