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Crane Operator Qualification Rule

By Jordy Byrd

OSHA and the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) have yet to find a resolution on the agency's pending crane operator qualifications rule, which is slated for release in March 2016.

During NCCCO's October Industry Forum on Personnel Qualifications, Jim Maddux, Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Construction, confirmed that OSHA was continuing to work on the rule and that there would be “positive resolution” in 2016.

The debate dates back to 2010 when OSHA issued the Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard, which required crane operators to be certified by an accredited testing organization or an audited employer program. Two issues that generated concern from stakeholders were OSHA’s position on certifying by capacity and type of crane, and the recertification requirements for those operators already certified.

NCCCO argued that operator certification requirements were insufficient to determine operator competency and that the rule's language equated certification with qualification.

“We will continue to support the concept of national certification that was born more than two decades ago in the certain knowledge that, in so doing, we are fulfilling our industry-given mission of helping to prevent accidents and, thereby, save lives,” Thom Sicklesteel, former NCCO President, said in a 2012 press release. “We have come too far, and all devoted too much time, energy and expertise for anything less to be acceptable.”

In response, OSHA delayed certification requirements. A draft of the revised Proposed Crane Operator Qualification Rule was presented earlier this year to the advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health.

Crane Safety Report

Graphic Products offers a complimentary Crane Safety Report which outlines OSHA crane regulations, engineering and administrative controls, safe crane design, safe lifting equipment, inspection requirements and operating procedures. The report also features a hand signals guide for cab-controlled cranes. Download the report or call 888.326.9244 for more information.