Update: On June 15, OSHA announced that it will extend the comment period on its proposal to ensure crane operators are qualified to safely operate equipment by an additional 15 days. Comments will now be accepted through July 5, 2018.

On May 21, 2018, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed rule to update its standard for cranes and derricks in construction to ensure crane operators are qualified to safely operate equipment.

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

The public has the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule.  

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.