Lift your business up by complying with new OSHA crane certification rules!

After years of debate the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) passed a new crane certification requirement that likely impacts you as either an industry professional or business owner. The new 1926.1427 standard went into effect in December of 2018, requiring all operators of cranes to become certified if their machinery has a capacity greater than 2,000 pounds. Of course, I am paraphrasing. The full regulation states:

General requirements for operators. The employer must ensure that each operator is trained, certified/ licensed, and evaluated in accordance with this section before operating any equipment covered under subpart CC, except for the equipment listed in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

As you know, OSHA is no joke and they are taking enforcement seriously. OSHA can show up to any job site and fine businesses that are found to be using crane operators who are not yet certified. In addition, they can fine companies that are found to be circumventing this regulation.

But it’s not just financial ramifications that should concern you or motivate you to obtain training and certification for yourself or others. First and foremost, this standard was created and is being strictly enforced to significantly reduce the risk of harm or injury on the job.

One way to keep personnelle safe and avoid fines related to OSHA’s crane rule is by working with a reputable trainer who can help you master the information and training needed to obtain your NCCER crane operation certification. And not just you training for you! Business owners and every person operating a crane are advised to get certified. I’m sure you are thinking this seems excessive and there must be exceptions to the rule. Of course there are. According to OSHA, “Operators of derricks (see §1926.1436), sideboom cranes (see §1926.1440), or equipment with a maximum manufacturer-rated hoisting/lifting capacity of 2,000 pounds or less (see §1926.1441) are not required to comply with §1926.1427.” With that said, do you really want to be the exception to the rule when the rule was made with your best interest in mind?

Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. Delaying training in order to save a little money and time now may cost you dearly in the long run. Companies that are already in compliance with the recent crane rule are more likely to win business over you just by virtue of having certified professionals. With a crane certification, an operator is also worth more! A certified crane operator can make up to $30 an hour with benefits and work in a variety of job markets including by not limited to construction, roofing, tree companies, or any other occupation or field requiring a skilled, certified crane operator.

Since this rule isn’t likely to change anytime soon (or ever), it’s time to get onboard and be proactive about crane operation training and certification. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Better for your safety, and better for your business. Below I have outlined some need-to-know information to help get you started.


How can I obtain an NCCER Crane Certification?

One way to get your certification is through a NCCER accredited program. NCCER is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) education foundation with a goal of developing a safe and productive workforce through a standardized training and credentialing program. With over 4,000 NCCER-accredited training and assessment locations across the United States, NCCER has developed standardized construction and maintenance curriculum and assessments with portable credentials for more than 70 craft areas including crane operation.

Is training needed to become crane certified?

While training is not required, the written exam focuses on a range of topics related to the crane industry, and the practical exam challenges newcomers and seasoned pros alike. We highly recommended completing training to increase your chances of passing the written and practical exam on the first go!

Who provides the crane certification?

The number of training locations and providers can be overwhelming. Where do you start? Who do you pick? At the risk of sounding self promotional, I offer NCCER accredited training with a 99% pass rate. My certification program consists of two days of education followed by a third day of testing and evaluation. My services are flexible; for groups of 12 or more, I can come to you! If you are part of a smaller group or looking for training as an individual, I also offer open enrollment classes four times per year. Contact me for additional information.

Once the NCCER written exam and practical exam have been passed, certification will be granted and crane operators will be able to work in compliance with OSHA standards. The certification is good for 5 years. Before a certification expires, an operator can take a written recertification exam at a certified testing facility. If the written recertification exam is passed prior to expiration then no practical exam is necessary. If certification expires then both the written and practical NCCER crane certification exams must be passed again.

Now that you know the lay of the land, it’s time to elevate your worth, raise your standards and lift your business prospects by becoming licensed in crane operation!