On November 9, 2017, OSHA published a Final Rule further extending by one year the employer duty to ensure the competency of crane operators involved in construction work. Previously, this duty was scheduled to terminate on November 10, 2017, but is now extended to November 10, 2018. OSHA is also further extending the deadline for crane operator certification for one year to November 10, 2018. According to the OSHA press release, the extensions are necessary to provide sufficient time for it to complete related rulemaking to address issues with its existing Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard. In addition, OSHA maintains that many crane operators in the construction industry do not have the certification required by the crane standard and are out of compliance with the standard.
This is the second time that OSHA has delayed this deadline. The rule regarding crane operator certification was first announced in August 2010. In September 2014, OSHA published a Final Rule that delayed the operator certification deadline and extended the existing employer duty for three years to November 10, 2017, to provide time for OSHA to consider what regulatory approach to take. Since 2014, OSHA has spoken to over 40 industry representatives about crane operator certification and operator competency, and has made numerous site visits. With this information, OSHA has drafted proposed regulatory text and nearly completed a proposed rule. The rule will be published for public comment soon, according to OSHA.