What Do You Need To Know About OSHA’s New Final Rule On Crane Operator Evaluations?

December 04, 2018 | Blog | Craig Hautamaki | Cranes | Industry News | News | Safety Training

One of the key differences between the first Final Rule issued in 2010 and the Final Rule just published that modifies it, is the addition of a process OSHA calls Evaluation. Here we drill down into the main elements as prescribed by OSHA.


What am I required to do under OSHA’s new Evaluation requirement?

The Rule states that, effective February 7, 2019, you must conduct an evaluation of each
operator to ensure he/she is qualified by a demonstration of (i) the skills and knowledge
necessary to operate the equipment safely, and (ii) the ability to recognize and avert risks
associated with the operation.

What does OSHA mean by “skills and knowledge”?

The skills and knowledge OSHA has identified include those specific to the safety devices,
operational aids, and software the crane is equipped with. Most importantly, the evaluation
must take into account the size and configuration of the crane he/she plans to operate
including (but not limited to) the crane’s lifting capacity, boom length, any attachments
(such as a luffing jib), and counterweight set-up.

What else must the Evaluation consist of?

The Evaluation must also cover the operator’s ability to perform the hoisting activities
required for the work he/she is assigned, including, if applicable, blind lifts, personnel
hoisting, and multi-crane lifts.

Can I just not go by OSHA’s standard definition of a “qualified person”?

No. The Rule is very clear on this. OSHA states that the definition of ‘‘qualified’’ in §1926.32
does not apply here. In other words, possession of a certificate or degree cannot, by itself,
qualify an operator to operate cranes.

Who can conduct the Evaluations?

They must be conducted by someone who has the “knowledge, training, and experience
necessary” to assess equipment operators.

Can I delegate these Evaluations to someone else?

The evaluator must be an employee of yours or be acting as your agent. If you do delegate
the evaluations to an agent you are still responsible for ensuring they are done correctly.

How specific do the Evaluations have to be?

Once you have successfully evaluated an operator for the necessary skills and knowledge for
the size and configuration of crane he/she plans to operate, you may allow that operator to
operate other equipment that you can demonstrate does not require substantially different
skills, knowledge, or ability to recognize and avert risk to operate.

Do I have to document the Evaluation?

Yes. The documentation must be available at the worksite and must include: the name
of the operator and the evaluator; the date of the evaluation; and the make, model, and
configuration of the crane used in the evaluation. The evaluator also has to sign it.

Do the evaluations I have already done count?

Yes, for operators employed prior to December 10, 2018, you may rely on your previous
assessments in lieu of conducting a new evaluation of that operator’s existing knowledge
and skills. The documentation must note the date of the assessment and the make, model,
and configuration of the crane on which it was done.

How often do I have to do these Evaluations?

Re-evaluations are required whenever you provide retraining to an operator. And you must
retrain an operator whenever you believe it’s necessary based on an operator’s performance
or an evaluation of the operator’s knowledge. The re-evaluation need only focus on the
area(s) which the retraining covered.

OSHA Paragraph 1926.1427 (f)(5) permits the employer to allow an operator to operate equipment other than the specific equipment on which the operator was evaluated, as long as the employer can demonstrate that the new equipment does not require substantially different skills, knowledge, or abilities to operate. An additional evaluation would be required before an operator would be allowed to operate equipment that requires substantially different skills, knowledge, or abilities to operate.


Do you need Crane Operator Evaluations? Please contact us at 303-477-1044 ext 3 or www.ccoschool.us 


Courtesy of NCCCO