Occupational Safety and Health Administration | Office of Maritime Enforcement | Washington, D.C.

Guidance for OSHA 29 CFR Part 1919 Accredited Agencies
Use of OSHA Official Certification Forms

OSHA's accreditation program for cargo gear and material handling devices pertains only to the maritime industry and successful applicants are granted accreditation to act as an accredited agency under 29 CFR Part 1919 (Gear Certification). Under OSHA regulations, only certain types of vessel cargo gear and shore-based material handling devices used in maritime operations are required to be certificated.

Cranes and derricks which are part of, or regularly placed aboard barges, other vessels, or on wingwalls of floating drydocks, and are used to transfer materials or equipment from or to a vessel or drydock are required to be certificated under the OSHA Shipyard Employment regulations [29 CFR Section 1915.115(a)(1)]. Cranes and derricks, and material handling devices, located at marine terminals are required to be certificated under the OSHA Marine Terminals regulations [29 CFR Sections 1917.45 and 1917.50]. A vessel's cargo gear and certain material handling devices used in longshoring are required to be certificated under the OSHA Longshoring regulations [29 CFR Section 1918.11] and [1918.66(a)(1)]. Under OSHA regulations, other material handling devices used in maritime operations are not required to be certificated. Cranes and derricks which are located at a shipbuilding/shipyard facility and are shore-based (e.g., shop cranes, yard cranes) do not require certification. Material handling devices which are used at a marine terminal for purposes other than the movement of cargo (e.g., overhead cranes and chain hoists which are located in maintenance shops or cranes and derricks engaged in construction projects) do not require certification.

There are no OSHA regulations requiring the certification of cranes, derricks, and material handling devices used solely in general industry operations [29 CFR Part 1910], or in construction operations [29 CFR Part 1926]. Therefore, cranes, derricks, and material handling devices used exclusively in general industry or construction operations are not required, under OSHA regulations, to be certificated by anyone. The owner must, however, maintain a record of inspections. OSHA regulations only require that such equipment be inspected during initial use and periodically thereafter by a "competent person", or by an OSHA recognized government or private agency. There is wide latitude in the regulations as to the definition of a "competent person." A competent person does not have to be a disinterested third party. A competent person may be the equipment owner's maintenance personnel or any other person the owner chooses, as long as that person is deemed "competent."

There are two official OSHA forms used by accredited agencies in performing certification functions which are required for maritime cargo gear and material handling devices. As of January 1, 2009, the Form OSHA-71 (Certificate of Unit Test and/or Examination of Crane, Derrick, or Other Material Handling Device), a certificate notifying the owner that the piece of equipment passed the certification survey, and the Form OSHA-72 (Notice to Owner of Deficiencies Found on Certification Survey), a notice informing the owner of any deficiencies found during the certification survey, are electronically generated. These official forms can legally only be used in conducting certification surveys of material handling devices specifically required to be certificated under OSHA regulations (i.e., the OSHA maritime employment regulations - 29 CFR Parts 1915, 1917 and 1918). [NOTE - Prior to January 1, 2009, the Form OSHA-71 and Form OSHA-72 were issued in "hard copy" four-part carbon and not available electronically.]

The Form OSHA-71 and Form OSHA-72 cannot legally be used for certifications of equipment that is not specifically required to be certificated by OSHA maritime regulations. In such cases where the owner voluntarily requests that his equipment be certified under 29 CFR Part 1910 or 29 CFR Part 1926 including the ANSI standards referred to in those two parts, the accredited agency should use their own form, clearly indicating that the certification is not mandated by OSHA regulations. The accredited agencies' own form may be patterned after the Form OSHA-71 by; (1) deleting the Department of Labor heading (i.e., everything above "OSHA Certificate No.") and replacing with the agencies' letterhead; (2) deleting the references to 29 CFR Part 1917 and 1919 following paragraph section 7. "Load indicating or limiting device"; (3) deleting "OSHA 71 Rev Feb. 2003" at the bottom of the form; and (4) if required, inserting a paragraph stating under what standards the equipment is being inspected by leaving a space to insert the appropriate standard (e.g., 29 CFR Sections 1910.179 or 1910.180, 29 CFR 1926 Subpart CC, the appropriate ANSI or other national standard).

The use and intended purpose of these two official forms were reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Executive Office of the President, for use by OSHA accredited agencies. Both OMB and OSHA periodically review these forms to ensure that they are being used only for the purpose intended (i.e., to certificate only those material handling devices used in maritime operations that are specifically required to be certificated under OSHA regulations). This is the primary reason why the Form OSHA-71 and Form OSHA-72 are controlled forms which are available only through this office's on-line Maritime Crane Application program. This is also the reason why only currently accredited agencies are allowed to electronically use these forms.

The situation may arise where the owner/employer specifically requests that cranes working in a general industry or construction application be certificated under the maritime regulations, because the use of these cranes is also contemplated for longshoring activities or for use aboard vessels used in shipyard employment. In this situation, the accredited agency may issue the Form OSHA-71 or Form OSHA-72. However, if the owner/employer also wants the crane to be inspected for compliance with general industry standards (29 CFR Part 1910) or construction industry standards (29 CFR Part 1926), then a supplemental report or certificate (on accredited agency letterhead) must be issued, in addition to the Form OSHA-71 or Form OSHA-72, to document these type of inspections. Copies of accredited agency issued supplemental reports or certificates may be submitted with the Form OSHA-71 or Form OSHA-72, however, this is not required.

OSHA emphasizes that the use of Form OSHA-71 or Form OSHA-72 in a manner not legally intended (e.g., to certify a material handling device not specifically required to be certificated) would place ones accreditation status in jeopardy. Accredited agencies are not to infer that such equipment must be inspected or certificated by an accredited agency. Construction and general industry owners/employers cannot dictate the use of these government forms. An accredited agency would be remiss to issue an official OSHA form at the erroneous insistence of an owner/employer.

In order to ensure OSHA that deficiencies noted on a Form OSHA-72 has been corrected, the following procedure is to be used:

The surveyor or signatory authority needs to electronically open the Form OSHA-72 submitted for the equipment being certificated and check the box indicating that all deficiencies have been corrected. Then, click on the "Issue 71" tab which will open the Form OSHA-71 with the crane information pre-populated, then continue inputting the required information until the form is completed.

OMCA GD 93-1 [Rev: 1/2020]