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Crane Construction Caution: OSHA Issues Policy Limiting Crane Operator Certification

December 30, 2019

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued an enforcement policy regarding crane operator certifications issued by Crane Institute Certification (CIC). OSHA will not accept CIC certification (including recertification) on or after December 2, 2019 as compliance with OSHA crane operator certification regulations.

OSHA regulations require crane operators to be certified by an organization that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. 29 CFR 1926.1427(d). Although CIC has been previously accredited by a qualifying agency, OSHA recently learned that CIC is not currently accredited. As a result, crane operator certifications by CIC do not meet 29 CFR 1926.1427(d), and OSHA will not accept CIC certifications on or after December 2, 2019.

However, many construction employers acted in good faith seeking certifications from CIC prior to December 2, 2019 believing that such certifications were valid under the OSHA regulations. To eliminate confusion on this point and to avoid an unnecessary disruption in the industry, OSHA will not cite employers for violation of the crane operator certification requirements (29 CFR 1926.1427(d)) where such good faith is found. Thus, if an employer can demonstrate good faith efforts through CIC, certification prior to December 2, 2019 would apply until the expiration date listed on such certificate. OSHA may also revisit this enforcement policy if CIC provides additional accreditation information in the future.