Important Facts about Crane Operator Testing

Crane OperatorIn America, it’s estimated that there are about 117,000 crane operators, with about 72,000 certified to type, 15,000 certified to type and capacity, and 30,000 without certification. Ideally, every crane operator should have certification that proves they’re competent to run a crane to both type and capacity. At issue is both competency and safety. After all, cranes are heavy machinery that can hurt or kill people if operated improperly by people who have no business operating machinery they lack training on, knowledge about, or just plain don’t understand.

Just recently, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a “final rule” extending by three years the deadline for crane operators to be tested and properly certified. Crane operators will now have until Nov. 2017 to obtain a valid certification to run a crane on U.S. construction sites.

During the next three years, OSHA is buying itself time in order to further examine its testing requirements for crane operators. It could mean an adjustment of the certification language in its cranes-and-derricks regulation.

For quite some time, there has been a disagreement over who ultimately decides who is able to operate a crane safely. On one hand, employers think they have the right to determine specifics, while on the other hand, OSHA-connected certification by passing a standardized test seems to take precedence.

Does passing a written test prove a person is going to be a safe and competent crane operator? And what are the details of the test in relation to real-world experience with operating cranes? These are some of the questions being asked in the crane industry these days. Time will tell how it all works out.