OSHA Solicits Input on Crane Rule

In addition to providing long-term clarity regarding crane operator certification requirements, the proposal reinstates the employer duty to ensure that a crane operator is qualified to safely operate equipment. 

Under the proposed rule, a change to the categories of certifications for crane operators would ensure more operators are able to meet the requirement. The proposal discontinues a 2010 requirement, which never went into effect, that crane operator certification must include the crane lifting capacity for which the operator is certified. The proposal would expand the type of certification programs for crane operators.

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for submission details. Comments must be submitted by June 20, 2018.

OSHA recently published a final rule extending the operator certification compliance date until November 10, 2018.

Crane-related accidents are a critical concern for construction site safety. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, “From 2011 to 2015, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) reported 220 total crane-related deaths, an average of 44 per year over this 5-year period.”

Appropriate safety training for operators of this specialized equipment is an important component of any construction company’s safety training program, and should review best practices such as:

  • Never move a load over co-workers.
  • Do not permit co-workers to walk underneath the load.
  • Return the load block to its designated location after use.
  • Do not leave the load block low enough for someone to run into.
  • Never leave a suspended load unattended.
  • Do not leave unused slings suspended on a crane hook where they could become snagged on passing equipment.
  • Store wall-mounted cranes against the wall.
  • Continuously observe equipment for any sign of problems during operation. Pay attention to what you are doing—don’t allow yourself to become careless or distracted.