OSHA is now enforcing the requirement that employers must evaluate the competency of their crane operators before allowing them to operate cranes independently. The effective date was Feb. 7, 2019, although 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. During this period, OSHA intends to offer compliance assistance, in lieu of enforcement, for those employers who have evaluated operators in accord with the final rule and are making good faith efforts to comply with the new documentation requirement. If, upon inspection, it is determined that an employer has failed to make sufficient efforts to comply, OSHA will cite for that deficiency.
About the rule
The agency updated its standard for cranes and derricks in construction by clarifying each employer's duty to ensure the competency of crane operators through training, certification or licensing, and evaluation. OSHA also altered a provision that required different levels of certification based on the rated lifting capacity of equipment. While testing organizations are not required to issue certifications distinguished by rated capacities, they are permitted to do so, and employers may accept them or continue to rely on certifications based on crane type alone. Additionally, the rule establishes minimum requirements for determining operator competency.
OSHA agency will offer compliance assistance until April 15 for those employers who have evaluated operators in accordance with the final rule and are making good faith efforts to comply with the new documentation requirement. For more information, read the agency's enforcement guidance.