Texas construction workers should be aware that, on June 20, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced its proposal to extend the crane certification requirement enforcement date to Nov. 10, 2018. Additionally, the existing employer duty to ensure that crane operators are properly trained will also have a proposed extension to the same date.
The operator certification requirement was implemented in 2010 by OSHA. At that time, however, a three-year extension was granted. As the extension deadline for crane certification was approaching, the requirement received a second three-year extension. This extension was reportedly set to expire in November 2017.
The Crane Institute of America said that the extensions have resulted in preventable accidents and death. Another group agreed, stating that companies have had seven years to enter into certification. In fact, it was argued that companies that have failed to get certification were likely to do so, even with another year's extension. The CEO of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators did offer support for the extension, though the final rule would have to provide a clarification for the role of certification in ensuring that employees are qualified.
When crane accidents occur, the resulting injuries can range from minor to extremely serious or even life-threatening. Even minor injuries can cause a worker to be unable to earn an income for a certain period of time, making it difficult to pay the bills and keep the family afloat. In these cases, an injured worker may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits to help ease the financial burden. An attorney can often assist with the preparation of the required claim.