In June we reported that OSHA intended to propose an extension of the November 10, 2017 compliance date for certification of crane operators. Last Thursday, November 9th, OSHA made it official, announcing in the Federal Register that the deadline for employers to ensure crane operators in the construction industry are certified/qualified has been pushed back to November 10, 2018. This also extends the employer’s duty to ensure employees are competent to operate a crane safely until the same date. OSHA feels that this extension is necessary to avoid disruption to the construction industry.
Industry stakeholders have long been concerned that certification by an independent testing organization accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization does not ensure the competency of crane operators to do construction work. Employers have said that they feel additional, site-specific training would be needed to ensure that a crane operator could safely operate a crane. There has also been controversy surrounding Section 1926.1427(b)(2) which requires that for compliance with the standard, crane certification covers both type and capacity of equipment.
Originally, under the final crane standard published in August, 2010, the compliance deadline was November, 2014. In late 2014, the compliance deadline was extend three years, to November 10, 2017. The hope is that this new, one year delay will allow OSHA time to finally address ongoing issues.