The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently in the process of implementing a new crane operator certification rule that clarifies worker requirements and maintains an employer’s duty to ensure safety. The final rule became effective on December 9, 2018. However, its evaluation and documentation requirements will not take effect until February 7, 2019.
New Crane Operator Certification Rule Takes Effect
The new Federal regulation mandates that crane operators be certified for the type and capacity of the equipment they operate. For example, the government can issue a certification to operate a 100-ton hydraulic crane.
An operator may be certified or licensed according to:
- Crane type and capacity
- Only the type of crane
The new OSHA rule now requires that employers of crane operators perform several specific safety-related tasks, including:
- Train operators to perform assigned crane activities
- Evaluate crane operators
- Document successful completion of evaluations
Employers who have completed employee evaluations prior to December 9, 2018 will not be required to do them over again. But, these previous evaluations must be documented in order to comply with the new crane operator certification regulations.
Employers must now Pay for Certifications
According to the new OSHA rule, employers must pay for the certifications or licenses. The issuing authority must be accredited by a nationally recognized agency, which has met criteria for written testing materials, practical examinations, test administration and grading. OSHA has stated that these tests may be administered in any language the operator can understand.
OSHA will now require that operators get re-certified every five years to test their knowledge of the latest regulatory and technical developments.
New Rule Updates 2010 Regulation
The new crane operator certification rule discontinues a 2010 regulation, which never fully went into effect. The old rule called for crane operators to be either certified or qualified, depending on an option chosen by the employer.
In its place, the 2019 rule aims to reduce compliance requirements for employers, while still protecting crane operator safety. It will affect all operators in the United States, except for those who work with derricks, sideboom cranes or equipment with a maximum manufacturer-rated hoisting/lifting capacity of 2,000 pounds or less.
Regardless of industry or company size, all employers will still bear the responsibility to train every crane operator on staff.