Important Update From OSHA For Construction Crane Projects

OSHAThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration has the best interests of operators of cranes and derricks in mind with its rulemaking requiring crane operators on construction sites to meet one of four qualification/certification options by Nov. 10, 2017.

On August 9, 2010, OSHA published the final rule for cranes and derricks in construction. OSHA developed the cranes standard through a negotiated rulemaking process. The Agency established a Federal advisory committee, the Cranes and Derricks Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee (C-DAC), to develop a draft proposed rule. C-DAC met in 2003 and 2004 and developed a draft proposed rule that it provided to OSHA. The rule that OSHA subsequently proposed closely followed C-DAC’s draft proposal (73 FR 59718).

The Agency initiated a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel in 2006. The Agency published the proposed rule for cranes in construction in 2008, received public comment on the proposal, and conducted a public hearing. OSHA’s final rule incorporated, with minor changes, the four-option scheme C-DAC recommended and the Agency proposed. Accordingly, in Sec.  1926.1427, OSHA requires employers to ensure that their crane operators are certified under at least one of four options. The four options are:

Option 1. Certification by an independent testing organization accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization

Option 2. Qualification by an employer’s independently audited program

Option 3. Qualification by the U.S. military

Option 4. Compliance with qualifying state or local licensing requirements.

OSHA decided to adjust the standard to help prevent fatalities and injuries. Hazards include cranes and derricks contacting power lines, workers getting caught in or struck by equipment, unsafe work practices, and equipment tip-overs.

Frankly, there were too many high-profile crane incidents occurring, which is why OSHA felt the need to update its Cranes and Derricks standard.