OSHA Extends Compliance Date for Crane Operator Certification Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a final rule extending the deadline for crane operator certification requirements in the Cranes and Derricks in Construction final rule* published Aug. 9, 2010 by three years to Nov. 10, 2017. The rule also extends by three years the employer’s responsibility to ensure that crane operators are competent to operate a crane safely. The final rule becomes effective Nov. 9, 2014.

During the three-year period, OSHA will address operator qualification requirements for the cranes standards including the role of operator certification. The final cranes and derricks rule required crane operators on construction sites to meet one of four qualification/certification options by Nov. 10, 2014. After publishing the final rule, a number of parties raised concerns about the Standard’s requirement to certify operators by type and capacity of crane and questioned whether crane operator certification was sufficient for determining whether an operator could operate their equipment safely on a construction site.

The agency published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Feb. 12, 2014, proposing to extend both the deadline for operator certification and the employer duty to ensure competent crane operation for three years. After publishing the proposed rule, a hearing was requested and held in Washington, D.C. Comments from the hearing are available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=OSHA-2007-0066. OSHA analyzed the comments to the NPRM and the hearing testimony and decided to extend both the crane operator certification deadline and the existing employer duty for three years. OSHA has already begun the process of developing a standard to ensure crane operator qualifications.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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