OSHA Standard on Cranes & Derricks in Construction - Weekly Compliance Digest

September 08, 2017
By Jean-Grégoire Manoukian

In this edition of the Weekly Compliance Digest, we cover the extension of the compliance deadline of OSHA’s crane operator certification requirements.

Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Certification Extension

What is it?

On August 30, 2017, OSHA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to extend the responsibility of employers to ensure crane operator competency and enforcement for crane operator certification, to November 10, 2018. OSHA issued a final rule in September 2014 that extended the deadline by three years for crane operator certification requirements in the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard. The final rule also extended by three years employer responsibility to ensure that crane operators are competent to operate a crane safely. OSHA is now proposing an additional extension of the enforcement date to address stakeholder concerns.

What are the requirements?

On August 9, 2010, OSHA published the final rule for cranes and derricks in construction. As part of the final rule, OSHA required employers to ensure that their crane operators were certified under at least one of four options by November 10, 2014 (the original compliance date). The four options are:

1) Certification by an independent testing organization accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization.
2) Qualification by an employer’s independently audited program.
3) Qualification by the U.S. military.
4) Compliance with qualifying state or local licensing requirements.

The rule also required employers to ensure that operators of equipment covered by the standard are competent to operate the equipment safely. If an employee does not have the required knowledge or ability to operate the equipment safely, the employer must train that employee prior to operating the equipment. In addition, the employer must ensure that each operator is evaluated to confirm that they understand the information provided in the training.

In September 2014, OSHA issued a final rule that extended the compliance deadline of operator certification requirements by three years, from November 10, 2014 to November 10, 2017. The latest proposed rulemaking extends the compliance date again by one year, to November 10, 2018.

What is next?

The proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on August 30, 2017. Comments can be submitted by September 29, 2017. The crane operator certification requirements will be effective as of November 10, 2018, unless OSHA decides to further delay the compliance date or modify the requirements.

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