Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SC&RA) has responded to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) notice on a proposed crane rule. OSHA’s notice aims to provide long-term clarity regarding crane operator certification requirements and reinstate the employer duty to ensure that a crane operator is qualified to safely operate equipment.
SC&RA responded to OSHA by letter, commenting on questions posed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Docket ID-OSHA-2007-0066, RIN 1218-AC86, Cranes and Derricks in Construction.
The association said it supports the requirement for employers to evaluate operators and operators-in-training but SC&RA does not support a prescriptive list by which employers must evaluate their operators nor does it support the requirement for independent third-party evaluations.
SC&RA said it supports the change from requiring crane operator certification “by type and capacity” to certification “by type and/or type and capacity”.
The requirement that a trainer should be a “qualified person” was supported by SC&RA. Its current definition in the standard is as follows: Qualified person means a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training and experience, successfully demonstrated the ability to solve/resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project. SC&RA said it does not support the requirement for additional qualifications, for example, number of seat hours, previous operation of specific equipment, etc.
SC&RA said it supports the decision to not provide specific criteria for the evaluation of crane operators. This is due to the idea of “one size fits all” being impractical for companies in the construction industry and also ineffective.
A point not supported by SC&RA is the deletion of operator recertification. Recertification establishes a baseline of ongoing assessment and supports the employer’s obligation for continuing education and training on important national industry standards and government regulations, SC&RA said.
Nor does SC&RA support the addition of “over the road driving” requirements as they are proposed. Driving these vehicles is already regulated by federal and state authorities, rendering their inclusion in the OSHA standard unnecessary, SC&RA said.