August 2010—The State of Pennsylvania solicited public comments last month on the proposed regulation that will implement the Crane Operators Licensure Act later this year.
The new regulation will require all mobile and tower crane operators to hold crane operator certification through the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) or an “equivalent” accredited certification body. Pennsylvania has recognized the need for both crane operators and the certification bodies that assess them to be held to strict requirements. The regulation is expected to go into place by the end of the year.
Following NCCCO certification, which most Pennsylvania crane operators already hold, they will be required by the state to apply for a Pennsylvania Crane Operator License.
There were 106 accidents in Pennsylvania identified by OSHA between 1972 and 2004, an average of three per year. At least 63 of these resulted in a fatality.
Based on conservative estimates of the earnings of a crane operator, the replacement cost of a damaged crane, and lost time on the construction sites affected, the state calculated the total cost of these accidents to exceed $200 million. The State Board of Crane Operators established by the Act concluded that the implementation of the Act by the regulations it developed “will produce substantial savings.”