OSHA Proposes to Extend Crane Operator Certification Requirement

September 11, 2017

In 2010 OSHA promulgated a final rule regulating cranes and derricks in the construction industry, “Cranes and Derricks in Construction, Subpart CC (29 C.F.R. 1926. 1440, et al.)”. Shortly after the final rule was issued, OSHA published the “Small Entity Compliance Guide” on the new standard, which created conflict between OSHA and the stakeholders involved in the use of cranes, including employers, unions, and firm offering crane operator training and certification. In particular, OSHA took the position that an operator is qualified to operate a crane if certified for the “type and capacity” of equipment or for higher-capacity equipment of that type.

In November 2012, the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) petitioned OSHA to reverse its interpretation and to amend the “capacity and type” language in Sections 1926.1427(b)(1)(ii)(B) and 1926.1427(b)(1), believing that crane capacity should not be used as a factor for operator certification. OSHA’s response was to hold a stakeholder meeting in April 2013 and gather additional information; and in May 2013, it proposed to extend the compliance date to November 10, 2017. In September 2014, after a public comment period, OSHA announced that it was allowing a three year extension for the crane operator certification requirements to November 10, 2017. During this extension period, OSHA intended to develop a new standard that addressed qualification requirements, including the role of operator certification. OSHA is now considering further extending the deadline to November 10, 2018 in order to address stakeholder concerns and allow further public comment. The current public comment period is through September 29, 2017.