What Every Safety Manager Should Know About OSHA’s Final Rule on Crane Operator Certification Requirements

Earlier this year, OSHA announced a final rule to help clarify certification requirements for crane operators and their employers.

December 20th, 2018

Health & Safety

Earlier this year, OSHA announced a final rule to help clarify certification requirements for crane operators and their employers. So if you’re in the safety business, it’s critical to know what changes the final rule is bringing about.

OSHA’s crane operator certification final rule

Many things have stayed the same under the final rule. Here are a few examples.

Under the final rule, employers are still required to:

Under the final rule, operators are still required to:

So, what’s new about the final rule?

Although much about this regulation has remained the same, the final rule helps clarify some key information. Let’s dig in.

Certification requirements

The basic certification requirements of this regulation are nothing new. But under the final rule, including a crane’s lifting capacity is no longer necessary for operation certifications. Eliminating the requirement ensures that more accredited testing organizations will be able to fulfill OSHA’s stipulations. But if your operators are already certified by type and lifting capacity, there’s no need to worry — certifications issued before completed before Dec. 9, 2018, are still valid.

As far as acquiring certifications goes, employers have three options:

  1. Obtain certifications through an accredited third-party organization
  2. Develop their own program to certify their operators
  3. Have their operators obtain a state or local crane operator license that’s compliant with OSHA’s requirements

Employers must foot the bill for licensing and certification for their operators. Certifications must be renewed every five years.

OSHA doesn’t require operators to be certified to operate cranes with lifting capacities of 2,000 lbs or less. Training requirements for operating smaller machines still apply.

Evaluation requirements

Another part of the final rule preserves the requirement that employers are responsible for evaluating the ability of their operators to run cranes that will be used during their tasks. Some details included in the final rule:

As with certifications, evaluations completed before Dec. 9, 2018, are still valid. The only thing employers have to do is document when the evaluation was completed.  

Compliance dates

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