OSHA tells compliance officers: ‘Don’t worry about capacity’

8 November 2018

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As OSHA’s crane rule goes into effect, including a requirement for certification of operators by crane capacity, the regulator has said that it will accept certification that only considers crane type.

The issue of certification by type and capacity has been delaying implementation of the crane rule. Initially, mention of capacity was made by the cranes and derricks advisory committee as a way to differentiate between some smaller crane sub-types. When the first drafts of the final rule were published, they interpreted this advice as calling for a specific certification by capacity across all crane types: so an operator certified on a 100USt crane would not have been clearly certified to operate a 110USt crane.

In consultation with the industry over recent years, OSHA acknowledged that this was a mistake. With time running out on the deadline for implementation of the rule, the regulator has said that the rule will go into effect as written, but that it will accept certification by either type and capacity, or by type alone.

OSHA’s statement says, “OSHA proposed a rule in May 2018 to revise certification requirements, as recommended by construction stakeholders. OSHA is preparing to publish a final rule, but OSHA’s existing certification requirements will take effect on November 10, 2018, because OSHA’s final rule will not become effective prior to that date. The existing rule requires certification by crane type and lifting capacity. However, until the effective date of the new rule, once it is published, OSHA will accept operator certifications issued by type only, or by type and capacity.”