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OSHA Revokes Crane Institute Certification (CIC) Accreditation

OSHA Revokes CIC’s Accreditation

In a shocking announcement last month (November 2019), the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revoked the accreditation of a previously nationally recognized crane training certification program. Crane Institute Certification (CIC) is no longer nationally accredited, meaning that the program cannot currently certify crane operators in the construction industry. Furthermore, certificates held by current crane operators were immediately invalidated by the move, leaving thousands of working operators without the necessary documentation they need to safely operate cranes and other machinery under OSHA regulations.

Is Accredited Certification Required?

OSHA regulations mandate that all crane operators engaged in construction activity (including the transport of certain building materials and construction-related equipment) be certified by a “nationally recognized and accredited” program. While there are some exceptions for mobile crane operators working in a temporary capacity on construction sites, the vast majority of crane operators (whether self-employed, employed by a contractor, or fulltime construction company employees) must have this certification in order to lawfully work.

If OSHA inspections find crane operators at worksites are not properly certified, the agency has the ability to issue stop work orders and citations that could result in steep fines.

What This Means for Your Crane Operators

Because the revocations of CIC accreditation was so sudden, OSHA has taken a lenient stance on enforcement. In a November 26th, 2019 press release OSHA stated that:

  • CIC-issued certifications are no longer compliant
  • OSHA “does not intend” to cite employers if their crane operators obtained CIC certification prior to December 2nd, 2019 “in good faith”
  • CIC certification will “temporarily” not be accepted by OSHA

Alternative OSHA-Approved Certification Programs

Nationwide Crane Training (NCT) currently offers a variety of OSHA-approved crane operator certification programs. These training programs result in operators earning certification accredited by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).

Classes are available in:

  • Mobile Crane Operator
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
  • STC Certification

Enrollment for the next cycle of classes is currently underway at NCT facilities in California, Iowa, Alabama and North Carolina.

Additionally, NCT offers NCCCO accredited certification via private classes held at remote facilities across the country.

For more information about NCT, the nationally accredited crane operator certification programs they offer, or about scheduling a class near you, contact us online or call (877) 628-2726.

NEW OSHA RULING

New OSHA ruling requires that all crane operators be certified through an accredited organization. Nationwide Crane Training meets the required standards.

July 28,2010 – Extensive new requirements for the qualifications of crane operators and signalpersons were published today by Federal OSHA in the most wide-ranging revision of the rules governing the use of cranes in a generation.

Under the new rule, crane operators must be either certified by an accredited crane operator testing organization, such as the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), or qualified by an audited employer program. State programs that meet federal requirements, and programs run by the U.S. military, are also recognized in the new standard which retains most of the language contained in the Proposed Rule issued in 2008.

The widely-anticipated regulation, often referred to by the name of the negotiated rulemaking committee that developed it—C-DAC—but officially known as 29 CFR 1926 Subpart CC, was developed over a 12-month period and submitted to OSHA in 2004. The passage of the document has taken numerous twists and turns as it made its way through federal government oversight in the six years since then.

Signalpersons must be qualified either by a third-party qualified evaluator, such as NCCCO, or an employer’s qualified evaluator.

The new rule, including the requirements for signalperson qualifications, takes effect on November 8, 2010. Employers are given an additional four years to comply with the crane operator certification provisions.

OSHA estimates that approximately 267,000 construction, crane rental and crane certification establishments employing about 4.8 million workers will be affected by the rule.

“The significant number of fatalities associated with the use of cranes in construction led the Labor Department to undertake this rulemaking,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “After years of extensive research, consultation and negotiation with industry experts, this long overdue rule will address the leading causes of fatalities related to cranes and derricks, including electrocution, boom collapse and overturning.”

The previous rule, which dated back to 1971, was based on 40-year-old standards. Stakeholders from the construction industry recognized the need to update the safety requirements, methods and practices for cranes and derricks, and to incorporate technological advances in order to provide improved protection for those who work on and around cranes and derricks.

“The rule addresses critically important provisions for crane operator certification, and crane inspection, set-up and disassembly,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. “Compliance with the rule will prevent needless worker injuries and death, and provide protection for the public and property owners.”

The new rule is designed to prevent the leading causes of fatalities, including electrocution, crushed-by/struck-by hazards during assembly/disassembly, collapse and overturn. It also sets requirements for ground conditions and crane operator assessment. In addition, the rule addresses tower crane hazards, addresses the use of synthetic slings for assembly/disassembly work, and clarifies the scope of the regulation by providing both a functional description and a list of examples for the equipment that is covered.

In 2003, the secretary of labor appointed 23 experienced Cranes and Derricks Advisory Committee members representing manufacturers and trade associations, who met 11 times until a consensus on the regulatory text was reached in July 2004. The proposed rule was published Oct. 9, 2008, and the public was invited to submit comments until Jan. 22, 2009. Public hearings were held in March 2009, and the public comment period on those proceedings closed in June 2009. OSHA staff incorporated input from the public comments and testimony to develop the final regulatory text.

The published rule is available here. You can also find an OSHA Fact Sheet, the OSHA PowerPoint presentation providing an overview of Subpart CC,and the Final Rule on the OSHA website.