Crane Industry Services, LLC (CIS), Carrollton, Georgia, now offers training for employers who need to qualify individuals to do crane operator evaluations, according to new OSHA requirements. In addition, CIS staff can provide third-party crane operator evaluations to assist companies who need extra help getting these done.
During the first 60 days of enforcement (until April 15, 2019), OSHA will evaluate good faith efforts taken by employers in their attempt to meet the new documentation requirements for operators of cranes used in construction.
“Crane operator certification is now the benchmark and employer evaluation of operator qualification is an ongoing process," says Cliff Dickinson, president of CIS. "We’re fielding a lot of questions from unions and employers about the confusion around the new OSHA language. While OSHA allows for crane operator certification to be by crane type, or crane type and capacity, the employer, or the employer’s representative, must evaluate each operator’s qualifications on each crane he or she operates."
If multiple cranes are used and the machines are the same make, model number and are configured alike, one qualification evaluation will suffice, he added. However, he says if the employer has multiple cranes made by different manufacturers, the employer must qualify each operator on every different machine the operator runs.
"The evaluation process requires initial planning to determine how many different machines are in a given fleet, how many of them are the same make, model, configuration and whether they are used for the same type of work,” Dickinson says.
A one-day Crane Site Safety class offered by CIS may now also include two additional days on-site devoted to instruction on how to evaluate an operator. On the second day of evaluation instruction, potential evaluators are observed performing the actual process.
The course reviews the OSHA documentation requirements and includes a checklist that evaluators can apply to different crane types and configurations that are commonly used in the employer’s fleet. The course also provides guidance for evaluators to determine if an operator is qualified to run the machine.
“There is a heavy focus in the class on new OSHA language for operators to be able to ‘recognize and avert risk,’ ” Dickinson says.
Online Record Keeping
OSHA requires that operator evaluations be available on the job site. Dickinson, however, says it does employers no good to lock the information away in a filing cabinet or save it to an electronic file without making the information searchable and dynamic.
Working with iReportSource Inc., Crane Industry Services, LLC (CIS) has customized an online reporting tool for crane users. iReportSource integrates all the pieces of project planning—resources and skills needed, schedules and staffing capabilities—into a daily report. Crane operator evaluations are just one more piece of data that can be added to the overall big picture.
By inputting crane operator evaluations into iReportSource, managers can know what their workforce is able to do, in real time, from any location. It offers instant record-keeping, and is one of the most affordable and user-friendly programs on the market, Dickinson says. From a computer or mobile device, the user can see identifiers tied to an employee ID number. Once the number is input, the system reports criteria for how to find that employee.
The user can see all the different areas in which the operator has been trained and certified and his or her safety record. The crane operator evaluations can be done live on a mobile device and instantly become part of the system.
“You can also input notes about a laborer’s productivity and whether he or she is working on time and on budget, and his or her role in the overall project,” Dickinson says.
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