On November 9, 2018, OSHA announced via the Federal Register that it is updating the agency's standard for cranes and derricks in construction by clarifying each employer's duty to ensure the competency of crane operators through training, certification or licensing, and evaluation. OSHA is also altering a provision that required different levels of certification based on the rated lifting capacity of equipment. While testing organizations are not required to issue certifications distinguished by rated capacities, they are permitted to do so, and employers may accept them or continue to rely on certifications based on crane type alone. Finally, this rule establishes minimum requirements for determining operator competency. This final rule will maintain safety and health protections for workers while reducing compliance burdens. Effective date: This final rule is effective on December 10, 2018, except the amendments to 29 CFR 1926.1427(a) and (f) (evaluation and documentation requirements), which are effective February 7, 2019. Some frequently asked questions about the standard include: Is operator certification a new requirement of the final rule Answer: No - Operator certification was required in OSHA's 2010 cranes rule, but the effective date of that requirement was pushed back to November 10, 2018. The new rule simply removed the requirement that certifications include the lifting capacity of cranes for which the operator is certified, but did not change the effective date for when operators must be certified. How does an operator meet OSHA's certification requirements? Answer: An operator can meet OSHA's certification requirements by obtaining certification from an accredited, third party crane certification organization as described in paragraph (d) of the final rule. An employer can also comply with OSHA's standard by developing an employer audited program as described in paragraph (e) of the final rule and use this program to certify operators it employs. Finally, per paragraph (c) of the final rule, operators can meet OSHA's certification requirements by obtaining a state or local crane operator license that meets OSHA's requirements. To see the full list of most frequently asked questions, visit: www.osha.gov/cranes-derricks To see the Crane Standard in its entirety, visit www.osha.gov.