OSHA has published a final rule that clarifies certification requirements for crane operators.

According to a statement released by OSHA on Nov. 7, the final rule will maintain safety and health protections for workers while reducing compliance burdens.

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 Dec. 9, 2018, will not have to conduct those evaluations again, but will only have to document when those evaluations were completed.

The new final rule is based on a proposed rule, which OSHA issued last May.

Certification Based on Crane Type Only

The final rule also requires crane operators to be certified or licensed and receive ongoing training as necessary to operate new equipment.

Operators can be certified based on the crane’s type and capacity, or type only, which ensures that more accredited testing organizations are eligible to meet OSHA’s certification program requirements.

The final rule eliminates a 2010 requirement that crane operator certification must specify the rated lifting capacity of cranes for which the operator is certified.

Compliant certifications that were already issued by type and capacity are still acceptable under this final rule.

The final rule, except for the evaluation and documentation requirements, will become effective Dec. 9, 2018.

The evaluation and documentation requirements take effect Feb. 7, 2019.