Courtesy Howard I. Shapiro and Associates
OSHA will receive public comments on the cranes and derricks proposal until March 12, 2014.

OSHA has proposed extending the compliance date for crane-operator certification requirements. Published in the Federal Register on Feb. 10, the proposed rule would extend the compliance date for the crane-operator certification requirements by three years, to Nov. 10, 2017.

A number of construction industry, union and crane certification groups have argued for a change to the construction crane and derrick requirements, finalized in August 2010. They said OSHA's interpretation of what "qualified" means did not reflect the intent of the industry committee that actually wrote the rule.

Graham Brent, executive director of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, says, "Certification is a very valuable tool." However, certifying bodies cannot determine if an operator is actually qualified to operate certain cranes in certain configurations under specific conditions, he adds.

After several public meetings in April 2013, OSHA agreed to extend the enforcement date of Nov. 10, 2014, so that certification requirements would not take effect during potential rule-making.

According to an OSHA spokesperson, the agency intends to publish a separate proposal focused on crane-operator qualifications that "will address much broader aspects of crane-operator safety."

OSHA will receive public comments on the proposal until March 12, 2014.