The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has extended the deadline for crane operators to meet certification requirements by three years. The final rule "Cranes and Derricks in Construction," published in August 2010, had originally required that crane operators on construction sites meet one of four certifications by November 10, 2014, but that date has been pushed back to November 10, 2017.
The same extension applies to contractors' responsibility to ensure the competency of crane operators. According to the latest press release, "a number of parties raised concerns about the Standard's requirement to certify operators by type and capacity of crane and questioned whether crane operator certification was sufficient for determining whether an operator could operate their equipment safely on a construction site."
Following a hearing in Washington, D.C., in May, OSHA decided to extend the compliance date. Over the course of the next three years, the Administration will address operator qualification requirements and develop a standard to ensure crane operator qualifications, a process which it says has already begun. The hope is that by developing clearer rules and allowing more time for their compliance it will be easier to enforce the standard when it does become effective.
Crane issues are not among the most commonly reported safety violations as revealed recently by OSHA, but the Administration is nevertheless working to make up for a relative lack of oversight by ensuring that construction site safety extends to crane operators as well as workers on the ground.
Safety Advantage can provide consulting and training services to ensure that contractors are ready for the new guidelines when they come into effect three years from now.