Washington – OSHA will post the long-awaited updates to its crane operator certification requirements on the November 9th federal registry.

As expected, the agency requires certification by crane type, but accepts certification by crane type and capacity. This will ensure that “more accredited testing organizations are eligible to meet the requirements of the OSHA certification program,” said a November 7 press release.

In the upcoming final rule, OSHA states that “certification / licensing” must be through an accredited auditing service, an independently audited employer program, military training, or compliance with qualifying state or local licensing requirements.

OSHA originally tried in 2010 to certify operators according to crane type and capacity in their standard for cranes and derricks in the construction industry. This certification requirement was supposed to go into effect in 2014, but the agency was later notified that two of the four accredited testing services were issuing certifications for crane type rather than type and capacity.

Stakeholders also raised concerns about the wording of the rule – that certification does not mean that an operator has the required skills. These concerns forced the agency to postpone the requirements for another three years in September 2014 and another year in November 2017. The type and capacity certification requirement was supposed to go into effect on November 10, but OSHA issued tentative compliance guidelines on November 5 that it would accept certifications by type or type and capacity.

Most of the new final rules will go into effect on December 9th, with the exception of the requirement that employers evaluate and document crane operators. These requirements go into effect on February 7th.

Employers are also obliged to “train operators as required to carry out the assigned crane activities” and to offer training if the operation of new equipment is required in accordance with the release.

Organizations that completed evaluations before December 9th do not need to rerun evaluations, according to OSHA, but must document the completion of those evaluations.

“The new date of entry into force gives operators and employers who have not yet completed the certification and assessment process additional leeway,” says a press release from the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators. “But the message for those who don’t have it remains unchanged: Don’t wait!”

NCCCO adds that it will publish a stakeholder briefing in the week of November 12th.