OSHA pegs one-time savings of $25M in revised crane operator rule

Sources: Occupational Safety and Health Administration; CP staff

OSHA is revisiting Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard certification requirements and equipment parameters adopted under the Obama administration, aiming to reduce employer compliance costs and increase worker safety. The agency characterizes “Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Qualification,” a proposed rule published in the May 21 Federal Register, as a) providing long-term certification requirement clarity; b) reinstating employer duty to ensure a crane operator is qualified to safely operate equipment; and, c) discontinuing a yet-to-be-implemented rule that crane operator certification include the lifting capacity for which the operator is certified. Compliance with the latter has been delayed on multiple occasions, but set for November 2018. 

The agency’s noticed of proposed rulemaking details expected economies for Cranes and Derricks standard-bound employers, particularly “a large one-time cost savings of $25,560,840 from dropping the requirement that crane operators be certified by capacity because that change would eliminate the need for a very large number of operators to get an additional certification. OSHA also estimates that a small number of ongoing annual certifications due to an operator moving to a higher capacity crane would also no longer be needed.”

“The Agency has preliminarily concluded that, on average, the impact of costs on employers would be low, because most employers are currently providing some degree of operator training and performing operator competency evaluations to comply with existing [Cranes and Derricks provisions],” OSHA observes. “Employers who currently provide insufficient training would incur new costs to comply. Although OSHA anticipates that a few employers might incur significant new costs, the Agency has preliminarily concluded that, for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.”

The agency’s Federal Register posting opens the proposed rulemaking to public comment through June 20. Comments can be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.


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