OSHA to extend crane operator certification deadline

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed delaying the deadline for crane operator certification by a further 12 months.

This week, the agency issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would extend the time allowed for employers to ensure their crane operators meet acceptable competency requirements to November 17 next year.

The current rule is due to come into effect on November 10 of this year and OSHA is concerned it no longer has sufficient time to address these issues before the current deadline.

As a result, it is now inviting comments on the proposed extension which must be submitted by September 30, 2017.

The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), is supportive of the delay on the basis that the current language as interpreted by OSHA would not have the desired safety benefits and is not in line with the intent of the Cranes and Derricks Advisory Committee (C-DAC) that wrote the original draft of the rule. 

A NCCCO spokesman said, “NCCCO’s position, in alignment with the overwhelming majority of the industry that has commented on these two aspects, has always been ‘no’ to the first question and ‘yes’ to the second. And when OSHA last went on the record on the subject they were also in agreement.

“In its official document, Overview of Draft Proposed Regulatory Text for Crane Operator Qualification, published in February 2015, OSHA wrote that while certification would still include a written and practical exam “certification will only be by type of crane—not by capacity.”

“The frustrating part of this story (now approaching its seventh year as measured from the publication of the final rule in 2010) is that, by its own account, OSHA had completed its work on revising this language before the change in administration earlier this year brought all regulatory activity to a screeching halt.”

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Tom Stone is Editor of the iVT brand – which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine, Off-Highway Annual, and the Advanced Lift-truck supplement, as well as ivtinternational.com, which is updated daily. Tom has met and interviewed some of the world's leading industrial vehicle OEM presidents, CEOs and MDs, and takes great pride in cementing iVT's place as the leading forum for debate within the industry, a reputation that his been built up over the brand's 25-year history.

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