OSHA is now enforcing the requirement that employers must evaluate the competency of their crane operators before allowing them to run cranes independently.

OSHA's enforcement guidance memorandum to regional administrators and state plan designees explains that the agency will offer compliance assistance in lieu of enforcement from the Feb. 7 effective date to April 15 for those employers who have evaluated operators in accordance with the final rule and are making good faith efforts to comply with the new documentation requirement.

If inspections show that an employer has not made sufficient efforts to comply with the new requirements, OSHA has instructed its regional administrators and state plan designees to cite that employer for the deficiency.

Final Rule

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 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.

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