back to Construction Industry

OSHA schedules stakeholder meetings to discuss crane operator certification requirements

At the recent OSHA Crane stakeholders meeting in April, the Directorate of Construction requested additional comments from industry professionals. The comment below was received from Jay Sturm, President of Sturm Corporation.

  • Do you think there is a problem with the rule?

  • I believe the rule is right on the money.

  • Type & Capacity statement / commentary

  • I was on board with this from the get go. Each type of crane will have features that are unique to that type of crane. I believe the industry's safety is best assured when a crane operator is tested to be proficient in the specific type of crane he/she is operating.

    Breaking the field into crane capacities will also divide the operators into categories that have unique features. I can't conceive the thought of a crane operator, trained in a hydraulic crane under 20 tons, jumping into a crane that has a capacity that exceeds the crane he has been certified in.

  • A small crane, perhaps one that's rated under 20 tons will set up on as few as 2 outriggers and will not require the tires to be off the ground. It will most likely not be outfitted with counterweight(s) or a jib that can offset or luff. It's load chart is most likely complete on one page that covers one or two pick zones.

  • Getting into larger cranes, let's say up to75 tons capacity, you will start seeing cranes that must remove their tires from the ground. If you set these cranes up with their tires on the ground you run the risk of flipping them over. You'll also see cranes that have multiple outrigger configurations, multiple counterweight configurations, multiple hoists and multiple jib offsets. Its load chart is probably one page up to many pages in a book and likely covers 4-5 pick zones.

  • Getting into crane that capacities exceed 75 tons you'll see luffing jibs, and everything else listed above. Its load chart could be hundreds of pages and covers a broad spectrum of pick zones that are delineated by both main boom configuration and jib configuration.

  • On cranes that exceed 200-300 tons you pick up configurations that include heavy lift kits, ringer configurations, tower configurations, counterweight sleds, front and rear counterweight options, track weight options, inability to erect booms without helper cranes.