OSHA Issues Yet Another Final Rule on Crane Operator Certification Requirements, Effective 2018



The long delayed rule for crane operator certification has new life as OSHA has issued yet another final rule, after making alterations and clarifications.  OSHA originally planned to require all crane operators to obtain certifications in 2010, but it has been delayed several times since then. A different final rule was proposed in 2017, but it was announced in May of 2018 that the administration intended to alter the rule

The latest final rule on crane operator certification requirements, announced on November 7, 2018, will go into effect on December 9, 2018.  This rule amended the requirement that operator certification had to be based on “type and capacity” and instead will based on equipment “type” or “type and capacity,” citing a regulatory burden as the reason for the change.

The rule continues OSHA’s previous requirement that operators must be properly trained and places the burden on the employer to ensure that the operator is competent enough to safely operate the equipment.

From OSHA’s press release, “The rule also requires crane operators to be certified or licensed, and receive ongoing training as necessary to operate new equipment. Operators can be certified based on the crane’s type and capacity, or type only, which ensures that more accredited testing organizations are eligible to meet OSHA’s certification program requirements. The final rule revises a 2010 requirement that crane operator certification must specify the rated lifting capacity of cranes for which the operator is certified. Compliant certifications that were already issued by type and capacity are still acceptable under this final rule.”

While the final rule will become effective on December 9, as mentioned above, the evaluation and documentation requirements will not be effective until February 7, 2019. Employers who have evaluated their operators prior to the December 9 effective date will not need to re-evaluate them, but will have to document that it was completed.

In the meantime, OSHA also issued a guidance on how to comply with the certification requirements until the new rule become effective.  You can find that guidance here.