February 2008 - Regular readers may recall that our New Year’s Quiz this time last year was: “What do Nevada, Minnesota and Utah have in common?” The answer we were looking for a year ago was that 2007 was the year that each of these states would make crane operator certification mandatory.
As this year’s legislative sessions kick off in most states, the same question might be asked now of Michigan, Maryland and Florida, where similar initiatives are at various stages of development. What is clear is that despite the declared intent of OSHA to introduce a federal requirement for crane operator certification, states are deciding not to wait for a national mandate.
“If operator certification is such a good idea, as the majority of the nation’s construction experts clearly think it is,” said NCCCO Executive Director, Graham Brent, “many states are saying to themselves, Why wait?” Brent noted that the Cranes & Derrick Advisory Committee—CDAC—that reported out to OSHA in 2005, declared a clear consensus for the need for crane operators in construction to be certified, a view that was later endorsed by OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH).
Nevertheless, despite making considerable progress within OSHA’s internal approvals process, the Proposed Rule still awaits publication at press time. Although OSHA Chief, Ed Foulke, has repeatedly stated his commitment to publication before he leaves office at the end of this year, we all know that, in an election year anything (or, alternatively, no-thing) is possible.