ABC Submits Comments on OSHA’s Crane Operator Qualification Proposal

On July 5, ABC submitted comments to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on its proposed updates to its standard for cranes and derricks in construction to ensure crane operators are qualified to safely operate equipment.

Officially entitled Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Qualification, the rule proposes the following changes to the existing standard:

• Require comprehensive training of operators
• Remove certification by capacity from the requirements
• Clarify and permanently extend the employer duty to evaluate potential operators for their ability to safely operate equipment
• Require documentation of that evaluation

In its comment letter, ABC explained that the proposal resolves its previous concerns surrounding operator certification by type and capacity by eliminating the requirement for crane operators to be certified by capacity altogether. Also, the addition of a permanent employer duty to ensure the competency of crane operators will clarify employer obligations under the standard and codify a practice that is standard within the construction industry and essential to ensuring workplace safety.

Background

On Nov. 9, 2017, OSHA published a final rule extending the operator certification compliance date until Nov. 10, 2018, in order to provide the agency with additional time to complete this rulemaking to address stakeholder concerns related to the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard.

ABC filed comments during the proposed rule phase on Sept. 27, 2017. In its comments, ABC reiterated its position that while it appreciated OSHA’s proposed one-year delay, ABC strongly encouraged the agency to consider an indefinite extension. Extending the certification deadline indefinitely would alleviate any confusion regarding the current compliance deadline and allow OSHA to craft the safest possible solution to the type and capacity issue to ensure the competency of crane operators.