The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has finalized the long-awaited approach to mobile crane operator qualification and certification, by updating the safety requirements related to cranes and derricks used in construction. The new rule establishes a three-fold approach for the qualification of crane operators: (1) operator training for employees not yet certified to operate cranes; (2) operator certification or license; and (3) employer evaluation of certified operators.
To assist employers, Crane Inspection & Certification Bureau (CICB) has provided a fundamental overview of the crane operator evaluation requirements.
Effective February 7, 2019, but delayed until April 15, 2019, the employer must conduct an evaluation of each operator to ensure he/she is qualified. This is determined by a demonstration of the skills and knowledge necessary to operate the equipment safely and the ability to recognize and avert risks associated to the operation. The skills and knowledge include those specific to the safety devices, operational aids and software that the crane is equipped with, along with considering the size and configuration of the crane to be operated, including the crane’s lifting capacity, boom length, attachments and counterweight set-up.
The evaluation must also cover the operator’s ability to perform the hoisting activities required to perform their tasks, and if applicable, blind lifts, personnel platforms and multi-crane lifts.
Evaluations must be conducted by someone who has the “knowledge, training, and experience necessary” to assess the operators. The documented evaluation must be available at the worksite and include the name of the operator and evaluator, the date of the evaluation, make, model and configuration of the crane used in the evaluation.
Once the operator has been successfully evaluated for the necessary skills and knowledge for the size and configuration of the crane they plan to operate, they may operate similar equipment if it can be demonstrated that it does not require considerably different skills, knowledge, or ability to recognize and avert risk.
In response to industry requests, OSHA has announced it is delaying full enforcement of its requirement for employers to evaluate their crane operators. During the first 60 days of enforcement (until April 15, 2019), OSHA will evaluate good faith efforts taken by employers in their attempt to meet the new documentation requirements for operators of cranes used in construction.
For more information on OSHA’s Mobile Crane Operator Evaluation requirements contact Crane Inspection & Certification Bureau (CICB).
Disclaimer: This information is provided by CICB as a public service. OSHA remains the sole authority for interpretations of federal labor standards and should be consulted accordingly.