Crane operators and those who work near cranes will soon have more protections at work, thanks to updated certification requirements.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised its crane operator certification requirements, which are in effect as of November 10. The rules better establish that it is the employer’s responsibility to guarantee crane operators are properly qualified to safely operate the equipment.
The revisions include a permanent employer evaluation duty, which requires employers continuously evaluate the operating competency of potential operators and provide any needed training beyond the bare minimums of certification.
The permanency of this evaluation requirement was the main change – rather than a one-time check, employers will need to constantly ensure their crane operators are competent.
It also requires that every employer evaluate an employee as an operator-in-training first, then release them to operate equipment on their own with no oversight. This guarantees that when a crane operator is set loose on the job, they know how to do the job safely.
This is not because OSHA believes employers shouldn’t trust their employees’ knowledge, but it keeps the employer accountable when it comes to hiring and training their employees in safety. You may be an expert in how to work the equipment, but you want to make sure everyone on the job site knows what they’re doing. This new standard makes sure that responsibility is your employer’s, not yours.
If a workplace injury occurs and it is due to an improperly trained or insufficient crane operator, your employer has not held up their responsibility. They are, however, responsible for any medical care or lost wages you may need because of the injury.