In response to the potentially fatal hazards that cranes present to construction crews, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented rules and regulations regarding crane operation. In part one of this two-part series, we discussed the loss of life that results from crane accidents. Below, an OSHA lawyer will be discussing the certification requirements for crane operators and OSHA’s final rule regarding cranes and derricks in construction. Remember, these rules apply to employers and employees alike. Failure to abide by them could result in an inspection and fine from OSHA.
OSHA’s Final Rule
Published on August 9, 2010, OSHA’s final rule was implemented to raise the standards of crane safety, which had not been replaced for decades. This new standard was designed to address and mitigate OSHA’s fatal four hazards: falls, struck by an object, electrocutions, and caught in/between.
At a whopping 273 pages, it would be impossible to go over the entirety of the final rule in this series. Consult with one of our OSHA lawyers for the specifics. What follows are the main requirements:
- A pre-erection of tower crane parts
- Use of synthetic slings in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
- Assessment of ground conditions
- Procedures for working near power lines
Licensing Requirements for Crane Operators
In addition to the above provisions, employers are required to comply with local and state operator licensing requirements as stipulated in § 1926.1427. Under this provision, crane operators must be “trained, certified/licensed, and evaluated” before operating a crane. Whether an operator must be certified under the state, county, or city licensing program depends on if the state or local licensing criteria meets the minimum federal requirements. Consult with an OSHA lawyer for help determining which licensing program is right for you.
OSHA’s Severe Penalties
If a crane is being operated on your jobsite by an uncertified worker, it could result in severe penalties. A single violation can result in a penalty of $13,260. Willful and repeat violations can result in fines of up to $132,598 per violation. If a crane is being operated unlawfully on your jobsite, consult with an OSHA lawyer immediately. Doing so could not only prevent a severe penalty but also ensure the safety of your workforce.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.