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.

November 5, 2018

Deputy Assistant Secretary
SCOTT KETCHAM, Deputy Director
Directorate of Construction
Enforcement Policy - Crane Operator Certification Requirements

Crane Operator Requirements

The Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard (the crane standard, 29 CFR Part 1926, subpart CC) includes requirements for operators of equipment covered by the standard. The effective date for its certification requirements is November 10, 2018.


As recommended by the Advisory Committee for Construction Safety and Health and an overwhelming number of construction stakeholders, on May 18, 2018, OSHA proposed removing the requirement that operators be certified by a crane’s lifting capacities (in addition to certification by type of crane).

Enforcement Policy

OSHA is aware that there are concerns in the construction industry about whether OSHA intends to enforce the requirement for operator certification by lifting capacity (as well as type of equipment) that will take effect November 10, 2018, pending the upcoming publication of OSHA’s Crane Operator Qualification final rule. To maintain current industry practices and avoid any further confusion that could disrupt construction projects, OSHA is announcing that, pending the effective date of the new rule, OSHA does not intend to enforce the requirement that certifications identify a lifting capacity for the certification. Operator certifications must still meet all other certification requirements in 29 CFR §1926.1427, and employers must continue to comply with applicable state and local operator licensing requirements. This policy is consistent with OSHA’s de minimis citation policy in Chapter 4, section VIII(A)(2) of the Field Operations Manual, CPL 02-00-159, which states that an employer may comply with a proposed OSHA standard rather than with the standard in effect at the time of the inspection so long as the employer’s action clearly provides equal or greater employee protection.

Effective dates for revised operator training, certification, and evaluation requirements will be announced in the Federal Register notice of the final rule.