OSHA is getting close to finalizing changes to its new crane operator safety requirements. After receiving feedback from stakeholders in the construction industry, the agency is updating a 2010 rule to help ensure that operators of cranes receive the right training for the job.
How it Could Effect Contractors
The agency estimates that the proposed rule could impact more than 100,000 crane operators nationally, costing employers a collective $1.4 million annually. These costs will likely result from performing and documenting competency evaluations and providing additional training.
The cost of the new rule to employers is expected to be low since many contracting businesses already comply with the rule’s provisions.
The government estimates that overall the proposal may save more than $25 million by reducing the amount of required certifications.
Under new Rule, Crane Operators no longer Certified by Capacity
The agency is updating its certification requirements on crane operator safety to provide long-term clarity with regards to the capacity requirement. The proposed OSHA rule would remove a 2010 requirement that operators be certified by lifting capacity, which was never implemented.
The agency would then expand the type of certification programs for crane operators. It would also establish minimum requirements for determining operator competency.
Employers will be Responsible for Evaluating Operators
The OSHA proposal reaffirms an employer’s duty to ensure a crane operator is qualified to safely operate equipment. Beyond a basic certification, employers will be responsible for evaluating an operator’s competency. OSHA found that “a standardized test cannot replicate all of the conditions that operators will face on the job site.”
Employers will have to pay Certification Costs
The OSHA rule states that employers must provide certifications at no cost to their employees. This provision is similar to rules that require no-cost medical exams.
Comments are Closed, but when will it take Effect?
Although the comments period closed on July 5, the rule is not yet in effect. It is currently being finalized and may not be enforced until April 2019.
Until then, it’s up to American contracting businesses to continue building a safe environment for crane operators every day.