OSHA Crane Operator RequirementsAs of November 8th, 2010, OSHA implemented a new regulation for crane operators, signalpersons, and riggers requiring that workers are certified by an approved organization, like the NCCCO, or are qualified by an audited employer program.
WHAT OSHA HAS CHANGED ABOUT QUALIFYING EMPLOYEES:
New regulations for crane operators set by OSHA state that "Employers must pay for certification or qualification of their currently uncertified or unqualified operators. (1926.1427 (a)(4))"
Crane operators can be certified or qualified in one of four ways:
1. Accredited testing organization
This certification is valid across the US for 5 years. This is what The Crane School offers to employers as the most valuable way to certify their crane operators.
2. Audited employer program
This is not portable and is valid for 5 years
3. US military license
This is not portable and is subject to the state/local requirements as to whether or not a military or state training meets accredited requirements.
4. State/local license
This is valid ONLY in the jurisdiction and the length of validation is set by the issuing entity and cannot be more than 5 years.
* This new regulation also specifies under 1926.1427 that an audited employer program must be conducted in accordance with nationally recognized auditing standards.
OTHER ITEMS OSHA ADDRESSES:
OSHA's new rules also cover signal persons and operating cranes around electrical lines. You can read more about OSHA's regulations for crane operators by clicking here.
TIMELINE FOR OPERATOR QUALIFICATION/CERTIFICATION
Nov. 8, 2010 - State or local license required if (1) working within a state or locality that has licensing requirements and (2) the licensing program meets the licensing and certification criteria listed in subpart CC.
Nov. 8, 2010-Nov. 10, 2014: Employer must ensure that all crane operators are competent to operate the equipment safely and are trained and evaluated on that training before operating the equipment.
Nov. 10, 2014: All crane operators must be certified or qualified.
As of November 8th, 2010, crane operators who have not met these requirements can work only as a "crane operator in training".
The rules for operators-in-training are below:
(f) Pre-qualification/certification training period. An employee who is not qualified or
Certified under this section is permitted to operate equipment only as an operator-in training and only where the requirements of this paragraph are met.
(1) The employer must provide each operator-in-training with sufficient training prior to operating the equipment to enable the operator-in-training to operate the equipment safely under limitations established by this section (including continuous monitoring) and any additional limitations established by the employer.
(2) The tasks performed by the operator-in-training while operating the equipment must be within the operator-in-training's ability.
(3) Trainer. While operating the equipment, the operator-in-training must be
continuously monitored by an individual ("operator's trainer") who meets all of
the following requirements:
(i) The operator's trainer is an employee or agent of the operator-in training's
(ii) The operator's trainer is either a certified operator under this section, or has passed the written portion of a certification test under one of the options in paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section, and is familiar with the proper use of the equipment's controls.
(iii) While monitoring the operator-in-training, the operator's trainer performs no tasks that detract from the trainer's ability to monitor the operator-in-training.
(iv) For equipment other than tower cranes: the operator's trainer and the operator-in-training must be in direct line of sight of each other. In addition, they must communicate verbally or by hand signals. For tower cranes: the operator's trainer and the operator-in-training must be in direct communication with each other.
(4) Continuous monitoring. The operator-in-training must be monitored by the
operator's trainer at all times, except for short breaks where all of the following
(i) The break lasts no longer than 15 minutes and there is no more than one break per hour.
(ii) Immediately prior to the break the operator's trainer informs the operator-in-training of the specific tasks that the operator-in-training is to perform and limitations to which he/she must adhere during the operator trainer's break.
(iii) The specific tasks that the operator-in-training will perform during the operator trainer's break are within the operator-in-training's abilities.
(5) The operator-in-training must not operate the equipment in any of the following circumstances unless the exception stated in paragraph (f)(5)(v) of this section is applicable:
(i) If any part of the equipment, load line or load (including rigging and lifting accessories), if operated up to the equipment's maximum working radius in the work zone (see § 1926.1408(a)(1)), could get within 20 feet of a power line that is up to 350 kV, or within 50 feet of a power line that is over 350 kV.
(ii) If the equipment is used to hoist personnel.
(iii) In multiple-equipment lifts.
(iv) If the equipment is used over a shaft, cofferdam, or in a tank farm.
(v) In multiple-lift rigging operations, except where the operator's trainer determines that the operator-in-training skills are sufficient for this high skill work.
(g) Under this section, a testing entity is permitted to provide training as well as testing
services as long as the criteria of the applicable accrediting agency (in the option selected) for an organization providing both services are met.
For additional information about OSHA's new crane operator requirements, visit the NCCCO resources page here.
The Crane School provides effective training programs for NCCCO certification for crane operators, riggers and signalpersons that meets and exceeds the requirements by OSHA.