OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

July 14, 2016

Mr. Maurice Williams #131696
Baker C1
20706 U.S. Highway 90
Sanderson, FL 32087

Dear Mr. Williams,

Thank you for your May 18, 2016, letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Directorate of Construction. You have a specific question regarding what OSHA certifications are required for individuals interested in employment as a Heavy Equipment Operator. A response to your inquiry is provided below. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of only the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated in your original correspondence.

Question: What are the OSHA certification requirements for individuals seeking employment as a Heavy Equipment Operator?

Answer: OSHA does not provide a certification for Heavy Equipment Operators; however, OSHA requires that the employer instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury. (29 CFR 1926.21(b)(2))

Further, employers must permit only trained and competent employees to operate a powered industrial truck (except for training purposes). All powered industrial truck operators must be trained and certified by their employer. (29 CFR 1910.178(l), 29 CFR 1926.602(d))


For individuals with no previous experience as a Heavy Equipment Operator, on-the-job training or apprenticeship programs are available. (See below):

Marisa Nixon, Executive Asst. to the Administrator, Office of Apprenticeship, Employment and Training
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Room C5321
Washington, DC 20210
Phone: (202) 693-3616
E-mail: Nixon.Marisa@dol.gov

Ken Olsen, Director of Apprenticeship
Florida Department of Education

325 W. Gaines Street, Room 754
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
Apprenticeship: (850) 245-0454
Phone: (850) 245-9039
Fax: (850) 245-9010

International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)
1125 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 429-9100

International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)
Local 925
PO Box 398
Mango, FL 33550
Phone: (813) 626-4161
Fax: (813) 623-1381

A copy of the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics', Occupational Outlook for Construction Equipment Operators; OSHA-Operator Specific Sheets for Heavy Equipment and Powered Industrial Truck Use; Powered Industry Truck Operator e-Tool and an Apprenticeship Leaflet are enclosed for your review.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. OSHA's requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. From time to time, letters are affected when the Agency updates a standard, a legal decision impacts a standard, or changes in technology affect the interpretation. To ensure that you are using the correct information and guidance, please consult OSHA's website at www.osha.gov. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the Directorate of Construction at (202) 693-2020.



Jeffrey A. Erskine, Acting Director Directorate of Construction

Enclosures: (4)