OSHA Guide – Cranes and Derricks in Construction
- Employer Responsibilities
- Section 1400 – Scope
- Section 1401 – Definitions
- Section 1402 – Ground Conditions
- Sections 1403-1406 – Assembly and Disassembly
- Sections 1407-1411 – Power Lines
- Section 1412 – Inspections (with Section 1435(f)-Tower Crane Inspections) and Section 1436(p)-Derricks Inspections)
- Section 1413 – Wire Rope Inspection
- Section 1414 – Wire Rope – Selection and Installation Criteria
- Sections 1415 Safety Devices & 1416 Operational Aids
- Section 1417 – Operation
- Section 1418 – Authority to Stop Operation
- Section 1419-1422 – Signals
- Section 1423 – Fall Protection
- Section 1424 – Work Area Control
- Section 1425 – Keeping Clear of the Load
- Section 1426 – Free Fall and Controlled Load Lowering
- Section 1427 – Operator Qualification and Certification
- Section 1428 – Signal Person Qualifications
- Section 1429 – Qualifications of Maintenance & Repair Employees
- Section 1430 – Training
- Section 1431 – Hoisting Personnel
- Section 1432 – Multiple-Crane/Derrick Lifts
- Section 1433 – Design, Construction and Testing
- Section 1434 – Equipment Modifications
- Section 1435 – Tower Cranes
- Section 1436 – Derricks
- Section 1437 – Floating Cranes/Derricks and Land Cranes/Derricks on Barges
- Section 1438 – Overhead & Gantry Cranes
- Section 1439 – Dedicated Pile Drivers
- Section 1440 – Sideboom Cranes
- Section 1441 – Equipment with a Rated Hoisting/Lifting Capacity of 2,000 Pounds or Less
- Directory of States with Approved Occupational Safety and Health Programs
- Workers’ Rights
- OSHA Assistance, Services and Programs
- OSHA Regional Offices
- NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Program
Section 1427 – Operator Qualification and Certification
IMPORTANT: On September 26, 2014, OSHA published a final rule that extends the deadline for crane operator certification in the cranes standard at 29 CFR 1926.1427 for three years, to November 10, 2017 (published in the Federal Register, available at www.regulations.gov). The proposed changes also extend the employer’s duty to ensure that operators are competent to operate the crane safely for the same three year period. During this extension, OSHA will consider addressing operator qualification through additional rule making. OSHA will provide updated information about the crane operator certification and qualification requirements as it becomes available at www.osha.gov/cranes-derricks.
Q1: What must employers do before the operator certification requirements go into effect to ensure the competency of their operators?
A1: Employers must ensure that equipment operators are competent through training and experience to operate the equipment safely (see 2CFR 1926.1427(k)(2)). If an employee assigned to operate a crane does not have the required knowledge or ability to operate the equipment safely, the employer must train that employee before allowing him or her to operate the equipment and must evaluate the operator to confirm that he/she understands the information provided in the training (see 29 CFR1926.1427(f) training requirements).
Q2: Does OSHA require operators to be certified under existing state, county, or city licensing programs?
A2: The answer depends on whether the licensing criteria meets the minimum requirements (“federal floor”) in 29 CFR 1926.1427(e)(2) and (j). If a state or local jurisdiction has a licensing program that meets the federal floor, OSHA requires the employer to ensure that all operators operating within that jurisdiction are licensed by that state or local jurisdiction, unless they are qualified by the U.S. Military (see 1926.1427(a)(1)). This requirement went into effect in November 2010. Note, however, that the crane standard’s operator certification requirements do not supersede state or local licensing laws. If the licensing program does not meet the federal floor, OSHA does not require operators to be licensed in accordance with that program, although the operator may still be subject to action by the state or local authority for failure to comply with its requirements.
Q3: Who will determine if a state or local operator certification process meets the “Federal floor” requirements in new 29 CFR 1926.1427?
A3: Initially, states or local governments are responsible for determining if a state or local operator certification program meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.1427(e)(2)(i-ii). OSHA does not require compliance with a state or local licensing requirement unless the state or local authority that oversees the licensing department/ office assesses that program and determines that it meets the minimum requirements in 1926.1427(e)(2)(i) and (ii), including satisfying the substantive testing criteria of 1926.1427(j) through written and practical tests and providing testing procedures for re-licensing. OSHA does not intend to require compliance with a state or local licensing requirement absent a public statement by the authority with oversight responsibility for the licensing office that the licensing program meets OSHA's minimum requirements and the reason for that determination. However, OSHA has the final authority in determining that the program meets minimum OSHA requirements.
Q4: Is the option for qualification by the U.S. Military available to employees of private contractors working under contract to the Department of Defense?
A4: No. This option is only available to civilian and uniformed employees of the Department of Defense. When the operator certification requirements are in effect, private contractors must use one of the other options for operator certification/qualification available under 29 CFR 1926.1427.