A man was killed in July in Oklahoma City, when a crane dropped a church steeple onto his car. Last week, a painter was killed in the city, when the boom lift he was working from collapsed.

Local newspaper the Oklahoman says that commissioner Fields and local industry leaders agreed that licensing for operators is needed, in line with moves in other states and a new federal ruling proposed by OSHA. The report does not state if licences will be linked to NCCCO certification, a state programme, or some other type of qualification and training scheme, but does say that would include a written test, training, experience and a physical test. They may also include licensing for aerial work platfrom operators.

The paper quotes Randy Sudik, president of Allied Steel Construction, as saying, “You can’t work on a toilet unless you are a licensed plumber, but you can take a piece of heavy equipment and work without a license.” Sudik was among 12 industry leaders that met with Fields.

Any licensing requirement would require a new state law, which would be likely to be put forward in 2009.