There has been a lot of discussion and conjecture about how the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would deal with the compliance issues surrounding the crane operator certification requirement process. On August 9, 2010, OSHA issued a final standard for crane and derricks work, but many in the industry questioned the requirements and raised other issues with the new rules. As of February 7, 2014, OSHA has officially extended the compliance date from November 10, 2014, to November 10, 2017.
The standard required crane operators on construction sites to meet one of four qualification/certification options by November 10, 2014. After OSHA issued the standard, a number of parties raised concerns about the qualification/certification requirements. After conducting several public meetings, OSHA decided to extend the enforcement date so that the certification requirements do not take effect during potential regulatory processes or cause disruption to the construction industry.
OSHA held three stakeholder meetings on operator certification/qualification issues in April 2013 and posted detailed notes of the meetings at http://www.osha.gov/cranes-derricks/stakeholders.html, a web page devoted to the stakeholder meetings. There is also a very informative list of frequently asked questions that is posted on OSHA’s Cranes and Derricks in Construction web page. The list provides additional clarification and vital information about all of the issues surrounding the decision and the new process.
One of the most interesting and important questions is, “what is an employer’s obligation with respect to its operators right now?” OSHA responded with the following comment:
1. The employer must ensure that operators of cranes covered by the standard are competent to safely operate the equipment.
2. When an employee assigned to operate machinery does not have the required knowledge or ability to operate the equipment safely, the employer must train that employee prior to operating the equipment and ensure that each operator is evaluated to confirm that he/she understands the information provided in the training.
Click now to view the other frequently asked questions at the official OSHA website.
At the National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Services (NAHETS), we specialize in providing top-level crane training and can ensure that your employees—and management—are qualified at, and above, levels required by OSHA. We can implement our training regimen or work with you to create a customized training system that meets your company’s needs. At NAHETS, we don’t look back at what we should be doing, but we look forward and guide our clients to where they need to be.