States increasingly go "above and beyond" federal requirements
March 2012 - Federal OSHA may have been content to merely require riggers to be qualified without expanding on the training or evaluation process required to attain qualification—not so in an increasing number of jurisdictions that are going “above and beyond” the federal requirement.
The latest of these, Washington State, whose new regulations governing riggers and signalpersons went into effect February 1, joins a distinguished list of cities and states that have opted for stricter standards including California, Maryland, and Philadelphia.
Washington’s new requirements for riggers mirror the federal rule for signalpersons. Riggers must be qualified by either a third-party qualified evaluator or an employer’s qualified evaluator. Whichever method used, riggers must take a written test and a practical test that covers at least the seven knowledge and skill areas specified by the regulation. These include all the relevant B30 standards, sling and hitches, rigging hardware and below-the-hook lifting devices, load weight estimation, center of gravity, taglines, effect of angles on rigging components, etc.
Documentation must be provided that specifies each type of rigging for which the rigger meets the requirements, along with details of all tests taken. Professional rigger certification, such as that provided by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (Level I and Level II), meets these requirements. Qualification must be renewed every five years through, at a minimum, a written examination.
Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries has developed a Frequently Asked Questions page about the new rule, along with links to the full text of the new regulation at www.lni.wa.gov.