Enforcement Guidance Issued for Crane Operator Evaluations

OSHA is enforcing the requirement that employers must evaluate their operators before allowing them to operate cranes independently, but it will offer compliance assistance rather than enforcement until April 15, for employers who have evaluated operators in accordance with the final rule and are making good-faith efforts to comply with the new documentation requirement.

OSHA recently issued enforcement guidance related to its Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Qualifications final rule, which was published on Nov. 8, 2018. The requirements in the rule for employers to evaluate their crane operators and also document the evaluations became effective Feb. 7, 2019.

OSHA is enforcing the requirement that employers must evaluate their operators before allowing them to operate cranes independently, but it will offer compliance assistance rather than enforcement until April 15, for employers who have evaluated operators in accordance with the final rule and are making good-faith efforts to comply with the new documentation requirement.

Addressed to regional administrators and state plan designees and from Scott C. Ketcham, acting director of OSHA's Directorate of Construction, the guidance is dated Feb. 7.

"OSHA has received feedback from the construction industry indicating some employers may need more time to document evaluations of crane operators prior to the February 7, 2019, effective date. During the first 60 days of enforcement (until April 15, 2019), OSHA will evaluate good faith efforts taken by employers in their attempt to meet the new documentation requirements for operators of cranes used in construction. During this period, OSHA intends to offer compliance assistance, in lieu of enforcement, for those employers who have evaluated operators in accord with the final rule and are making good faith efforts to comply with the new documentation requirement. If, upon inspection, it is determined that an employer has failed to make sufficient efforts to comply, OSHA should cite for that deficiency," it says, asking regional administrators and state plan designees to consult the National Office Directorate of Construction before issuing any proposed citations arising during this time period that are related to documenting crane operator evaluations.

Starting April 15, OSHA will fully enforce all applicable provisions of the final rule, the guidance document states. Regions with questions are asked to contact the Directorate of Construction by calling 202-693-2020.

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