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This time next year, OSHA’s new certification requirements for crane operators goes into effect. The new requirements revise the current Cranes and Derricks Standard to detail work practices and qualifications necessary for employees to safely use cranes and derricks, according to OSHA.

The new rule also includes ensuring the jobsite is safe for use of the equipment, including controls are in place around power lines, inspections are completed as specified and ways to make sure the ground is able support the anticipated weight of loads and equipment.

Though many contractors are already adhering to the updated standards, it’s key for all contractors to begin training and preparing employees now for the updated certification requirements, which will include a written and practical exam.

“While many contractors have already met the requirements by certifying their crane operators or by meeting state license requirements where applicable, some have not,” says Hank Dutton, senior technical specialist, construction, risk control for Travelers. “We are seeing an increase in the number of requests for classes, as well as classes filled to capacity, to prepare crane operators for their certification exams. I would expect this trend to continue well into 2017”

The rule seeks to mitigate some of the safety hazards associated with crane use. According to Dutton, some common accidents include overloaded cranes contact with overhead power lines and crane setup issues.

The rule originally was implemented in August 2010, but was extended to Nov. 10, 2017. For more information on the new standard, click here.

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