On Nov. 5, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued guidance on how to comply with crane operator certification requirements until OSHA’s new final rule on operator certification and qualification becomes effective. OSHA also made available a pre-publication version of the final rule on its website.

In the press release announcing the guidance, OSHA states:

OSHA proposed a rule in May 2018 to revise certification requirements, as recommended by construction stakeholders. OSHA is preparing to publish a final rule, but OSHA’s existing certification requirements will take effect on Nov. 10, 2018, because OSHA’s final rule will not become effective prior to that date. The existing rule requires certification by crane type and lifting capacity. However, until the effective date of the new rule, once it is published, OSHA will accept operator certifications issued by type only, or by type and capacity.

Additionally, the forthcoming final rule will clarify that employers who wish to certify operators by both type and capacity may continue to do so or can rely on certifications based on crane type alone. Finally, the rule will establish minimum requirements for determining operator competency.


On Nov. 9, 2017, OSHA published a final rule extending the operator certification compliance date until Nov. 10, 2018, in order to provide the agency with additional time to complete its upcoming rulemaking to address stakeholder concerns related to the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard.

On May 21, 2018, OSHA issued a proposed rule to update its standard for cranes and derricks by permanently extending the employer duty to ensure that a crane operator is qualified to safely operate equipment and removing a provision of the 2010 final rule that requires different levels of crane operator certification based on rated lifting capacity of equipment. ABC submitted comments on OSHA’s proposal on July 5.