On November 9, 2018 OSHA issued a final rule revising the Crane Operator Certification Requirements. The final rule is effective on December 10, 2018, except for certain evaluation and documentation requirements that are effective February 7, 2019. Under the final rule, employers are required to train operators as needed to perform assigned crane activities, evaluate them, and document successful completion of the evaluations. Employers who have evaluated operators prior to December 9, 2018, will not have to conduct those evaluations again, but will only have to document when those evaluations were completed.

The final rule is a performance-based standard that does not establish the specific skills that must be assessed, but instead provides a list of performance-based criteria. The criteria include evaluation of operator’s skills and knowledge with safety devices, operational aids, software and lifting capacity, boom length, attachments, and counter weight set up. While the evaluator does not need to be certified or have previous experience as an operator, the evaluator must have the knowledge, training and experience necessary to conduct the evaluation. The evaluation must be documented and maintained while the operator is employed.

The final rule eliminates the earlier proposed requirement for certification based on the lifting capacity of the crane. The final rule permits accredited testing organizations to certify operators based on the type of crane or based on the type and capacity of the crane, which ensures that more accredited testing organizations are eligible to meet OSHA’s certification program requirements. Compliant certifications that were already issued by type and capacity are still acceptable under the final rule.

For additional information refer to the final rule at http://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-24481.pdf