What You Need to Know:
Upcoming Changes to the OSHA Crane Rule

Background
The Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced it is finalizing changes to the certification requirements for crane operators established in the 2010 rule. OSHA is keeping the November 10 deadline for companies in the construction industries that are subject to the rule to comply with the crane operator certification requirement.

Please note that the deadline for operator certification applies only if the company is engaged in activities that fall within or facilitate construction, such as truss setting, hoisting prefabricated building components, or steel beams. If the company is hoisting building material within the material delivery exemption, then the crane operators do not need to be certified. It is important to note that the exemption does not allow companies to hold material in place or follow the construction activity with a hoist. For more information on the material delivery exemption, please review NLBMDA’s Complying with the OSHA Crane Rule: Use of Articulating Boom Crane to Deliver Material s to Construction Sites and NLBMDA’s Operator Check List .

What to Expect from the Changes
Under the rule, operators must still be certified by type of crane. That means that if a company is currently covered by the rule, it is required to have its operators certified by November 10. This is not a new requirement. It has been in place under the original 2010 rule and extended twice. OSHA’s revision to the rule will not extend the November 10 compliance date for operator certification. Additionally, based on its pre-published guidance, OSHA states that it will delay enforcement for only the new verification and training requirements. Given the uncertainty that has existed around the certification requirement and anticipation of OSHA’s revisions, it is not clear how soon or vigorous OSHA will enforce the November 10 certification date.

OSHA’s revision to the rule clarifies an employer’s responsibility to ensure that a crane operator can operate the equipment safely, and assumes employers already provide training and evaluation for their crane operators. It also adds specific training and evaluation components that employers must meet – focusing particularly on ensuring that operators are trained and evaluated on the specific type, make, and model of crane and specific tasks to be undertaken on the job.

Continued Material Delivery Exemption
It is important to note that the changes do not affect the material delivery exemption that was established in the 2010 rule to relieve dealers who deliver material to construction sites under certain circumstances from the certification requirements. The exemption requires articulated boom cranes to be outfitted with overload protection devices and a fork assembly attached directly to the end of the boom, and is limited to hoists of sheet goods or bundled or packaged material. The current rule also exempts deliveries that are placed directly on the ground without aiding the contractor with subsequent lifts.

Key Takeaways
If your company falls within the material delivery exemption, you are not required to certify your operators. For operator certification, if your company falls within the rule because you are setting or holding as described above, you are expected to have your operators certified by November 10. For operator training and verification, OSHA does not plan to enforce the requirement for 90 days (until February 2019) giving additional time to comply with that portion of the rule.

NLBMDA will send a detailed analysis of the revisions, including the new training and evaluation requirements, to its members in the coming days after the final rule is published in the Federal Register.

Questions? Contact Ben Gann, NLBMDA Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs at ben@dealer.org or 202.367.2346.