Today ten of the nation’s leading construction industry organizations launched the Coalition for Crane Operator Safety (CCOS) – a group dedicated to ensuring the swift revision and finalization of the crane operator certification requirements within the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Cranes & Derricks in Construction Standard, which has been more than two decades in the making. CCOS is working with members of Congress and the Administration to ensure that crane operator certification requirements in the Standard are amended and finalized in a way that provides the highest degree of safety for the construction industry and the public.
CCOS – whose membership includes labor, management, equipment manufacturing, insurance underwriters and accredited certification organizations – is specifically calling for OSHA to rescind the crane capacity certification requirement, as well as a provision that essentially equates employer certification with qualification.
OSHA’s final requirements, published in 2010, contained these two provisions, which the industry argues are counterproductive and a misinterpretation of the intent of OSHA’s Cranes and Derricks Advisory Committee, (C-DAC) – a group of 23 construction industry leaders commissioned by OSHA to develop a consensus document that formed the basis of the rule.
“The uncertainty and delay around the new crane operator certification requirements jeopardizes the safety of construction workers and the general public,” said James T. Callahan, general president of the International Union of Operating Engineers, a member of CCOS. “It’s essential that OSHA gets it right, but we believe they can revise, correct, and re-issue the new certification regulation well ahead of the November 2017 extension date.”
Since all but one of the 42 sections in the 2010 Standard have been agreed upon and enacted, the industry is now waiting on OSHA to correct the two ineffectual provisions and present clear and effective certification requirements.