Amendments to Crane Operator Certification Requirements Reduces Compliance Burdens & Upholds Worker Safety Protection
OSHA’s final rule on crane operator certification requirements will become effective on December 9, 2018. The rule is designed to reduce compliance burdens, while upholding worker safety and health protection.
In OSHA’s final rule, employers must ensure crane operators are properly trained to perform their assigned work and to safely operate the equipment they will be using. Evaluations must be performed by a person with the knowledge, training and experience necessary to effectively assess crane operators.
Not only must crane operators be properly evaluated by a trained professional, but documentation of such evaluations (and when they were performed) must also be completed.
Evaluation documentation must include the operator’s name, evaluator’s name and signature, and date of the evaluation. It must also include the make, model and configuration of equipment used in said evaluation.
Crane operator certification can be based on the crane type and capacity, or type only. This allows more accredited testing organizations to be eligible to meet OSHA’s certification program requirements.
The previous rule required that crane operator certification had to specify the rated lifting capacity of the cranes for which the operator is certified.
Under OSHA’s final rule, compliant certifications based on type and capacity are still acceptable if issued prior to the publication of the final rule.
OSHA’s final rule also states that operators must not only undergo crane operator certification or licensure, but that additional crane training is required for operation of new equipment.
However, if the employer can demonstrate that operating other pieces of equipment would not require substantially different skill sets, knowledge, or ability to identify and avoid risk, the operator who has passed evaluation on one piece of equipment may be allowed to operate different equipment without additional evaluations.
If employers performed crane operator evaluations before December 9, 2018, they will not have to conduct them again; however, those employers must have documentation of when those evaluations were completed.
The required crane operator evaluations and corresponding documentation is effective February 7, 2019.
Employers must retain evaluation documentation on the worksite for as long as the operator is employed by that employer. Electronic access of such documentation is acceptable.
For additional details, visit the OSHA FAQ document.