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Most employers upbeat about OSHA’s requirements, new report suggests

Las Vegas, NV, March 12, 2020 – Preliminary results from a survey of nearly 100 employers of crane operators suggests generally sound compliance with the new evaluation requirements.  But confusion exists about some aspects of the process.

The results, contained in a report, Taking the Third Step* — How employers are responding to OSHA’s requirements to evaluate crane operators, soon to be published by the NCCCO Foundation, reveal that while employers in general understand their basic responsibility to conduct evaluations themselves rather than relying on evaluations conducted by previous employers, they seem confused about how to ensure their evaluators are themselves qualified.

For example, 75% of respondents cited the fact that their evaluators were certified as crane operators as the basis for them being qualified, even though OSHA has stated that this is insufficient and even not required.  Others said they complied with the OSHA definition of a “qualified person” which does not apply here. It is also not clear that the criteria for when to conduct re-evaluations are completely understood. 

On the “plus” side, most respondents seem to be fully acquainted with the documentation requirements. And most employers who completed the survey felt that the rule would “help to save lives,” although one-third felt it would be “burdensome.”

“There were some positive take-aways from this survey, and a few areas of concern,” said NCCCO Foundation CEO, Graham Brent, “but in general it was heartening to see how generally on target at least this sample of employers were in complying with the rule.  We hope the results of the study will contribute to an even more comprehensive understanding of OSHA’s intent.”

* The report is so-titled to reflect the role of evaluation as the third in a series of steps OSHA now requires in the crane operator qualification process.  The other two are training and certification.