SC&RA Responds to OSHA’s Proposed Crane Operator Certification

- SC&RA has responded to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s notice on a proposed rule to provide long-term clarity regarding crane operator certification requirements and reinstate the employer duty to ensure that a crane operator is qualified to safely operate equipment.

In a letter to OSHA, dated July 5, SC&RA made the following comments in response to questions posed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Docket ID-OSHA-2007-0066, RIN 1218-AC86, Cranes and Derricks in Construction:
  • SC&RA supports the requirement for employers to evaluate their operators and operators-in-training. However, SC&RA does not support a prescriptive list by which employers must evaluate their operators nor do we support the requirement for independent third-party evaluations.
  • SC&RA supports the change of requiring crane operator certification “by type and capacity” to certification “by type and/or type and capacity”.
  • SC&RA supports the requirement that a trainer should be a “qualified person” (as currently defined within the standard: Qualified person means a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training and experience, successfully demonstrated the ability to solve/resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project). SC&RA does not support the requirement for additional qualifications such as number of seat hours, previous operation of specific equipment, etc.
  • SC&RA supports the decision to not provide specific criteria for the evaluation of crane operators due to the fact that “one size fits all” is infeasible for companies operating within the construction industry. To require each to evaluate their operators to a list of specific criteria is impractical and will not accomplish the goals and purposes of the evaluation.
  • SC&RA does not support the deletion of operator recertification as recertification establishes a baseline of ongoing assessment and supports the employer’s obligation for continuing education and training on important national industry standards and government regulations.
  • SC&RA does not support the addition of “over the road driving” requirements as proposed. The driving of these vehicles is already regulated by federal and state transportation authorities, and therefore their inclusion within the OSHA standard is unnecessary.
In the letter, SC&RA reiterated its commitment to be a strong advocate for operator certification and an employer’s obligation to train and qualify their employees on the equipment they are assigned for work. The Association, however, noted its opposition to any additional evaluation criteria due to the lack of evidence showing current unsafe practices within the industry.

The Coalition for Crane Operator Safety (CCOS), of which SC&RA is a member, also responded to the OSHA Notice. The CCOS letter can be viewed here.

For more information, contact Beth O’Quinn.

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