Industries today rely heavily on unique technology to do the heavy lifting. Cranes are extremely useful (and extremely dangerous) to move large, heavy loads. Crane operators must be determined to be qualified before they are permitted to operate any crane. OSHA issued a final rule on crane operator certification requirements that says…
“Employers are required to train, certify/license, and evaluate operators to safely perform crane activities. Operators can be certified based on either the crane’s type and capacity, or type only, ensuring that more accredited testing organizations are eligible to meet OSHA’s certification program requirements.” (OSHA)
Crane Safety & Hazard Recognition
Electrical – “Nearly 50% of overhead crane incidents are the result of machinery coming into contact with a power source during operation.” (OSHA) A pre-operation hazard assessment should be performed to identify the work zone and determine if any part of the equipment could reach closer than 20 feet to a power line.
Overloading – “80% of all crane upsets and structural failures can be attributed to exceeding the crane’s operational capacity.” (OSHA) Each hoist shall have a legible load chart showing the rated capacity in all permitted working positions and configurations of use. The load chart shall be permanently posted on the equipment, weatherproofed and kept legible at all times.
Materials Falling – If materials are not properly secured, the load can slip and land on workers in the area below or cause major damage to property. Rigging equipment shall be thoroughly inspected prior to each period of continuous use during the shift to ensure the rigging is functional and safe by a competent person. All deteriorated and defective equipment shall be immediately removed from service.
Why Issue the Final Rule?
“First, this final rule REMOVES the requirement that crane operator certifications INCLUDE the crane’s rated lifting capacity. Second, OSHA is making permanent the employer duty to ensure that operators are competent to operate the equipment safely. […] OSHA is revising the crane standard to preserve a requirement that employers assess the ability of their operators to run the cranes they will be using for the tasks to which they are assigned.” (OSHA)
OSHA concluded that capacity requirement for certification is not necessary to protect workers. You will find useful Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Final Rule by clicking the following link:
All new provisions of the 2018 rule went into effect today – Monday, December 10, 2018.
The new evaluation and documentation requirements which go into effect Thursday, February 7, 2019.
Will cranes continue to play an intricate role in industry moving forward? Yes. Crane operations are extremely dangerous which is why we need qualified operators at the controls. This final rule has hoisted the number of accredited testing organizations eligible to meet OSHA’s certification program requirements. 'How We Crane Today' involves ensuring the safety of every worker involved with crane operations. The safety of every worker matters. Your commitment to safer crane operations will surely set you on the right path to elevating your safety culture. Crane Safer Today!