OSHA solicits comments on crane operator certification

By Shiffler D.Ann11 March 2013

Do certifying bodies ignore the intent of C-DAC or just blindly follow OSHA’s own understanding of t

Do certifying bodies ignore the intent of C-DAC or just blindly follow OSHA’s own understanding of the way cranes work, and jeopardise safety?

OSHA has scheduled two informal stakeholder meetings to solicit comments on the crane operator certification requirements in the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard.

The meetings will focus on the effectiveness of crane operator certification to ensure that crane operators can safely operate equipment, and the level of competence and safe operation that certification ensures. The agency seeks information from the public on 1) the usefulness of certifying operators for different capacities of cranes, and 2) the risks of allowing an operator to operate all capacities of cranes within a specific type.

The operator qualification requirements are part of the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard that governs crane safety. The standard is the product of a negotiated rulemaking process that began in the summer of 2003 and culminated in the publication of the final rule on Aug. 9, 2010.

The standard requires operators to be certified by November, 2014. Secondly, the standard requires that certifications issued by an accredited testing organization specify the “capacity and type” of cranes the operator is certified to operate.

OSHA will hold separate meetings from 9 a.m. to noon on April 2 and 3, 2013, at the U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3437 A, B, and C. The Department of Labor is located at 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210.

Commenting on the announcement, NCCCO’s Executive Director Graham Brent said, “NCCCO welcomes the opportunity to bring further clarity and resolution to the concerns that have been expressed by the crane industry regarding the role of crane capacity in testing, and the true meaning of ‘certification’ in the context of qualification.”

Individuals interested in participating in, or observing, a meeting must pre-register by calling OSHA’s Directorate of Construction at 202-693-2020. The agency will post this press release and any additional information about the meetings on its website. Due to limited space, only one individual per organization may participate in a meeting. OSHA will permit two observers from each organization, but only one observer if that organization also has a participant in a meeting. Organizations may only participate in one meeting, but may observe both if seating permits. OSHA’s goal is to accommodate as wide an audience as possible of informed technical experts on crane safety and operator certification. To facilitate as much group interaction as possible, formal presentations will not be permitted.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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