By Brad Sant, senior vice president of safety and education, ARTBA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced May 21 it is moving forward with a proposed rule to finalize changes to its crane operator certification requirements.

The Federal Register notice explains the agency will discontinue a 2010 requirement—which never went into effect— that crane operators become certified for both the type of crane used and the lifting capacity of the equipment.  The proposed rule establishes minimum requirements for determining operator competency, and informs testing organizations they are permitted, but not required, to issue certifications by rated capacities. The proposal will also permanently extend and clarify each employer’s duty to ensure the competency of crane operators through required training, certification or licensing, and evaluation.

ARTBA has been working with the agency to develop a comprehensive rule since September 2002, when the association successfully recommended a representative to serve on the Crane and Derrick Negotiated Rulemaking Committee.  Since that time, the agency has struggled to develop a comprehensive final rule that would be supported by the construction industry. ARTBA supports OSHA’s decision to eliminate the crane lifting capacity requirements and looks forward to more clarity with regards to training requirements and qualifications.

In November 2017, OSHA issued a final rule to delay the crane operator training requirements for one more year.  Initially those requirements were to take effect in November 2014, but were delayed until 2017, and again to November 2018.

ARTBA is developing comments for the proposed crane and derrick rule.  For members interested in providing recommendations to be considered by ARTBA, please send that information to me (bsant@artba.org or 202-683-1008) no later than Friday, June 8.