On Tuesday, June 20, OSHA will present a proposal to extend the enforcement date of its crane operator certification requirement in the Cranes and Derricks In Construction standard until November 10, 2018.
At the same meeting, OSHA plans to propose extending the existing employer duty to ensure carne operators are trained and competent to safely operate equipment to November 10, 2018.
OSHA's extension request is the third since the standard containing the certification requirement was implemented by OSHA in 2010. At that time, a three year extension was granted, after which another three year extension brought the deadline to November 2017.
Responses to the Federal Register's posting of the OSHA request range from qualified agreements to the extension to vigorous 'DO NOT AGREE' posts written in all caps.
James Headley of the Crane Institute of America Certification said in comments, "We have a perfectly good operator certification requirement in place and have had since 2010. The bottom line is these extensions have resulted in more accidents resulting in many cases injuries and even deaths, because certification causes operators to receive training and trained operators have fewer accidents. This doesn't include the confusion caused to the industry, companies and employees."
Jose Lopez of the Florida Crane Inspections, LLC wrote strongly that he does not agree OSHA should be given another years extension, citing that in his opinion "individuals and companies who have not entered into certification by now (seven years) are the type of persons that will not get certified even if they are given twenty years, because that is the way they are, unsafe and operate by the seat of their pants."
Graham Brent, CEO of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators offered support of OSHA's extension request 'reluctantly' on the condition that the Final Rule would "clarify the role of certification in employers’ efforts to ensure their employees are qualified, and remove the requirement that crane operators be certified by capacity as well as by type of crane."
The Federal Register notice is available here and contains information on how to access the meeting by telephone.