OSHA Issues Final Rule on Crane Operator Certification Requirements

With the exception of the evaluation and documentation requirements, the final rule will become effective on Dec. 9, 2018. The requirements for evaluation and documentation will become effective on Feb. 7, 2019.

OSHA published a final rule Wednesday that clarifies certification requirements for crane operators and maintains the employer’s duty to ensure crane operators can safely operate the equipment. The final rule will reduce compliance burdens while still maintaining safety and health protections for workers.

According to the final rule, employers must train operators as necessary to perform assigned crane work, evaluate the operators, and document completion of said evaluations. Employers who have performed operator evaluations prior to Dec. 9, 2018, will not have to conduct them again, but will have to document when those evaluations were completed.

The final rule also required that crane operators be certified or licensed, and continue to receive training as needed to operate new equipment. Operator certification can be based on the crane’s type and capacity or type only, ensuring that more accredited testing organizations are eligible to meet OSHA’s requirements for certification programs.

The rule revises a 2010 requirement that crane operator certification had to specify the rated lifting capacity of cranes for which the operator is certified. Compliant certifications that were already issued based on type and capacity are still acceptable under the final rule.

With the exception of the evaluation and documentation requirements, the final rule will become effective on Dec. 9, 2018. The requirements for evaluation and documentation will become effective on Feb. 7, 2019.

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