Construction, and other companies exhibiting “good faith efforts” evaluating the competence of their crane operators, will have an additional 60 days to comply with the latest operator rules coming out of Washington.
This most recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration announcement follows on the heels of a November ruling saying that all employers would be required to ensure that their crane operators are certified.
That certification can be obtained, OSHA has explained, from an accredited, third party crane certification group; or via a state and/or local crane operator’s license that meets the federal agency’s standards.
A third option for employers, OSHA has stated, is through an employer-audited crane operator program.
Acting head of OSHA’s Directorate of Construction, Scott Ketcham, said the 60-day extension of the late 2018 rules came in the wake of input from companies across the country that said they needed more time to fully document evaluations of their crane operators.
OSHA has also announced that in the next two months it will provide compliance assistance to help prepare companies for the new rules.
At the same time, OSHA has also let it be known that if an employer has not made a sufficient effort to comply with the new crane operators policy, the agency will “fully enforce all applicable provisions of its final rule.”
The agency has previously asserted that significant safety issues have arisen in the crane industry due to the advancement of new technologies. The new rules, OSHA says on its website, are necessary not only for the safety of the crane operators themselves, but “all workers in proximity to them.”
By Garry Boulard
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