Crane Operator Licensing on the Horizon
For those readers who own, lease or are otherwise involved with cranes on construction sites, you need to prepare for a licensing change that will require crane operators to take more training and pass a test. This is not new. Many organizations having been lobbying for a crane operator's qualification process for 10 years now.
But it appears OSHA has accelerated its rule-making process due to recent accidents involving crane fatalities and the associated political pressure. The new rule will likely be in effect in a year.
The link below was forwarded to me by a fellow MEMIC safety consultant who's been around many cranes on many sites for more than 30 years. His name is Sonny Curtis and although most of his projects didn't have major hoisting issues, he’s seen all sorts of failures up to and including a fatality.
The main point Sonny made to me is that employers who use cranes regularly must start paying attention to potential crane operator licensing requirements. There's nothing worse than a $300,000 piece of equipment that you can't use because nobody's qualified. In fact, any company that has a fleet of cranes probably needs to start visiting the OSHA website to stay abreast of this proposed rulemaking.