4 August 2022

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a new compliance directive, CPL 02-01-063 for cranes and derricks. This directive replaces the 2014 compliance directive CPL 02-01-057 and addresses the changes in the crane rule that OSHA made in 2018. The new compliance directive only revises the existing section on operator training, certification, and evaluation and leaves the other sections of the 2014 directive unchanged.

The focus areas of the compliance directive are: When to initiate an inspection into an operator’s training, certification, and evaluation; How to approach an inspection involving multi-purpose equipment and multi-employer worksites; How to determine whether the operator has received training that meets the requirements of the standard; What steps to take when inspecting the certification/license of an operator; How to address certification concerns such as fraudulent certifications or testing organizations not meeting requirements and when an employer would need to conduct additional evaluations for an operator

While compliance directives provide OSHA enforcement personnel with guidance on conducting inspections and policy on citing violations of the standard, the guidance and explanation can be helpful for employers. At the NCCCO Foundation (the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators) Industry Forum last year, OSHA provided the top 10 citations for cranes in construction for 2020- 2021. Of these, three are related to the certification/ qualification process for personnel; standard; 1926.1427 (a) certification of operators; standard 1926.1425(c)(3) materials rigged by a qualified rigger and 1926.1428(a) signal person qualifications.

The 2018 crane rule from OSHA provided a framework for establishing operator competency for the construction industry. The operator must be: Trained + Certified/Licensed + Evaluated = Qualified.

In the compliance directive OSHA says there is no particular order in which an employer must comply with the training, certification, and evaluation elements and further reiterates that should an operator not meet all 3 criteria, they are considered to be an “operator-in- training,” which allows the operator to continue operating cranes when they are not yet certified/ licensed and must be under supervision of a trainer.

OSHA points out that employers have a continuing duty to monitor the performance of their operators to determine whether retraining is necessary.

Verification of the status of a certification body, such as CCO (Certification of Crane Operators), has been made much easier by the NCCCO Foundation (National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators) which has published a “Who’s Accredited?” Directory.

In regards to the operator’s certification details, CCO recommends using the Verify CCO Online (VCO) system to access CCO’s database for the most current information on certificants. The cards that are currently being produced by CCO include a QR code to directly link the user to this information.

Article credit: CCO Update, published by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, editor

Jennifer Eagle