Montana Crane operator training, licensing and safety information

Montana crane operators

Licensing information

To operate a crane you need to submit certain documents including a copy of you Nationally Accredited Crane Certification.

If you have not obtained your OSHA Accredited Crane Operator Certificate, click the link now!!!

News Articles

Higher OSHA fines coming for violations at workplaces
Companies next year could be paying significantly more for workplace violations cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for the first time in 25 years. A provision that allows OSHA to hike maximum penalties by about 78 percent was quietly added by Congress into the budget bill signed by President Barack Obama on Nov. 2. It ties the highest dollar amount the agency can charge employers to October’s rate of inflation.

Currently, maximum fines are tied to the consumer price index in 1990. The legislative mandate does not necessarily mean the federal agency will raise fees the maximum amount by the effective date of Aug. 1, 2016. But, given that a hike has been long sought by OSHA Chief David Michaels, many believe it’s likely the increase will be substantial.
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The agency sees the move as putting some bite back into fines that have not been large enough to actually change company behavior. Others say this could lay the groundwork for more battles by companies shocked by the higher fees. So far this year, OSHA has found 599 cases nationwide have warranted total initial penalties of $40,000 or more, with a total of more than $54 million put together, according to the agency’s online database, accessed Tuesday. Those initial penalties are not all final, as companies can choose to contest them.

Pennsylvania employers were involved in 20 of those cases totaling about $3 million in initial penalties, according to the database. Violations include on-the-job fatalities, outdated equipment and improper training.The state’s largest initial penalty this year of $490,000 was issued to York, Pa.-based environmental services firm First Capital Insulation Inc. for failing to properly protect its employees while they removed asbestos from a building in Harrisburg. The company is contesting the fine. By law, penalty money collected by OSHA goes to a general Treasury Department fund, not directly to OSHA activities.

Mr. Michaels told a House workforce protections committee in 2010 that “unscrupulous employers often consider it more cost effective to pay the minimal OSHA penalty and continue to operate an unsafe workplace than to correct the underlying health and safety problem.”Current penalties range from a few thousand dollars for an “other-than-serious” violation to a maximum of $70,000 for a “willful” violation. It’s a price that, even though they often completely disagree with a citation from OSHA, businesses will pay because it’s easier than contesting, said James Curtis, a labor and employment lawyer with Chicago-based Seyfarth Shaw LLP. “Whether the citations are correct or incorrect, a lot of employers view it as a cost of doing business in [the] U.S.,” Mr. Curtis said.

Martin Saunders, an employment lawyer with Steptoe & Johnson PLLC in Canonsburg, said businesses here are likely to view higher fines as an emphasis on penalizing, rather than cooperating with, employers to abate unsafe working conditions. “With the fines being increased, OSHA may find that it will be spending a lot more time in hearings,” Mr. Saunders said. “Employers will be more likely to fight a citation than go along with a reduced fine.” Particularly vulnerable to an increase in penalties are small to midsize employers that oversee inherently dangerous workplaces — construction, manufacturing, mining, utilities, and oil and gas extraction.

Brian Turmail, senior executive director of public affairs for the Associated General Contractors of America, the trade association for construction contractors, said higher fines are a reality his members will accept. But he said construction companies are frustrated to see more money being spent on fines when they want more guidance on how to handle pressing safety issues, such as the severe labor shortage that is putting more inexperienced workers on hazardous work sites. In 2014, the construction industry accounted for one-fifth of all workplace fatalities, according to the

Bureau of Labor Statistics. OSHA should direct its efforts away from a “cops-and-robbers approach” and place more emphasis on education and preventative measures to help employers comply with complex regulations, he said. “There’s this real misconception the amount you fine equals your success rate,” Mr. Turmail said. “When you understand the point of an agency like OSHA — which is to work with employers and employees around the country to make sure they’re never exposed to harmful conditions — how much you fine is actually a measure of your failure.”

Mr. Michaels said in his 2010 testimony an increase was needed to bring OSHA fines in line with what other federal agencies are allowed to assess. He noted the U.S. Department of Agriculture is authorized to fine milk processors up to $130,000 for failing to pay their part to help advertise and research their products. The Federal Communications Commission can fine a TV or radio station up to $325,000 for indecent content.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can impose a penalty of $270,000 for violations of the Clean Air Act. Meanwhile, the maximum penalty OSHA can charge for a willful violation — even one that results in the death of a worker — is $70,000. If the maximum amount is increased, the new penalty cap will be $124,709.In a written statement, Jordan Barab, OSHA deputy assistant secretary, said the agency’s “current penalties are clearly not strong enough to provide adequate incentives, and some employers see them as simply the ‘cost of doing business.’ ” “OSHA appreciates Congress’ recognition of this challenge and we are closely studying this recently passed legislation to see how it can best be used to enhance the protection of American workers,” Mr. Barab said.

Dr. Michaels testifies before Congress on OSHA's efforts to improve workplace safety and health
In testimony to the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections on Oct. 7, Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels described how, with limited resources, OSHA achieves its mission through a balanced approach of standards, compliance assistance, enforcement, outreach and whistleblower protection.
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"We recognize that most employers want to keep their employees safe and make great efforts to protect them from workplace hazards," Dr. Michaels told the committee. "Our enforcement program specifically targets the most dangerous workplaces, where workers are most likely to be hurt on the job, and the most recalcitrant employers. For those employers who need technical assistance, we provide free on-site consultations to small employers, as well as other compliance assistance, educational materials and training."

Dr. Michaels also detailed challenges in addressing the changing structure of employment relationships, such as the dramatic increase in temporary workers in virtually every type of workplace. Unless properly managed, these structural employment changes greatly increase risks of injuries and illnesses among all the workers in these workplaces.

Updated comprehensive guide to OSHA training requirements now available
Updated comprehensive guide to OSHA training requirements now availableOSHA has posted a fully updated version of its guide to all agency training requirements to help employers, safety and health professionals, training directors and others comply with the law and keep workers safe.

Training Requirements in OSHA Standards* organizes the training requirements into five categories:

General Industry, Maritime, Construction, Agriculture and Federal Employee Programs.
The safety and health training requirements in OSHA standards have prevented countless workplace tragedies by ensuring that workers have the required skills and knowledge to safely do their work. These requirements reflect OSHA's belief that training is an essential part of every employer's safety and health program for protecting workers from injuries and illnesses. For a list of educational materials available from OSHA, please visit the Publications webpage.

Update on Operator Certification and Recent OSHA Meeting in D.C.
Most of you who read this will be familiar with the draft proposed recently by OSHA regarding crane operator qualification which would replace the original wording of the 1926 (subpart CC) section 1427.
This is the section where the operator certification and qualification requirements are covered. You can go to to read the entire proposed draft.

In a nutshell, the draft was a rewrite of what qualifies and/or certifies an equipment operator, which includes a variety of crane types. In particular, the draft as written would require an extensive annual evaluation of the operator and require that the operator attend a very strenuous training program. The 'proposed draft' changed the current wording which states that operators are to be "certified by type and capacity of equipment" to "operators are to be certified by type of equipment."
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As you might expect, there was an adverse reaction to this proposed draft, especially by employers of crane and equipment operators, since an annual evaluation of each operator would be extremely time-consuming and costly. Personally, I was not surprised by this proposed draft. I knew change was coming when OSHA extended the operator certification date because of the opposition of certain groups over operators having to be certified by type and capacity.

Also, it was pretty obvious that OSHA had given serious thought to the subject of cranes, particularly to personnel who operate them, that certification did not equal qualification and there should be a greater emphasis on operator training, assessment and evaluation. OSHA scheduled an ACCSH (Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health) meeting onMarch 2, to discuss the proposed draft. ACCSH is a 15-member advisory body that provides advice and assistance in construction and policy matters to the assistant secretary.

ACCSH meetings are open to the public and are announced in the Federal Register. As you would expect, the room was full. CIC was represented by Tony Brown, Jeff Dudley, Pete Walsh and myself. Tony and I signed up to be speakers. When it came our time to speak, Tony and I both recommended to the ACCSH committee that the language requiring operators to be certified by type and capacity should remain in the regulation.

We made this recommendation based on the following reasoning: half of the four accredited certification organizations (NCCER and CIC) developed their certification programs by type and capacity because OSHA said that would be the requirement. It just would not be fair to these organizations to change the original requirement for certification which was by type and capacity and force them to change their programs. That would not only be unfair, it defies common sense!

Tony and I both understand there are operators that have certifications which are based on type only. Requiring them to be certified by type and capacity would cause them to be disenfranchised. Therefore, we recommended to the ACCSH committee that not only should type and capacity be left in the regulation, but the regulation should also allow operators to be certified by type. The standard would ultimately read that operators of equipment be certified by type and capacity or by type. We felt like this would satisfy all of the certification organizations and would be fair to all of them as well.

The next day, the ACCSH committee recommended by motion several things to OSHA. First, that OSHA needs to rework the operator evaluation and re-evaluation language and that type and capacity be put back into the rewrite of 1427. This would result in operators having the choice of being certified by type and capacity or by type only. ACCSH also recommended that OSHA clarify whether a trainer be certified or certified and qualified and that OSHA develop some reasonable definition of who the controlling contractor would be on the job site.

I've always been a little skeptical of OSHA and its control in the workplace. However, after attending the ACCSH meeting I have a lot more respect for OSHA and what it does to protect workers. I was also very pleased with the meeting and have great admiration for the members of the ACCSH committee. Some of these members might not have even known what a crane was when the meeting first started, but they came up to speed very quickly and were very astute to the issues being presented. They made appropriate motions and recommendations to OSHA regarding the most important points of the proposed draft.

So this is what we can be assured of: OSHA is going to require that operators be evaluated on a periodic basis with signed documentation by an evaluator. There will be more stringent training requirements which will have to be documented along with the periodic evaluations. In other words, people will have to attend more of a professional type training program which covers the topics outlined in the proposed draft.

It was also expressed that OSHA would like to get all of this done by year's end. So now we just have to wait for OSHA to do their work and present another rewrite of what was previously proposed. It will then have to go through the process and hopefully by year's end all of this can be done and this certification issue can be put to bed, and the industry can move forward in a direction that would help more men and women go home safely at the end of the work day.

*It is essential that you check with your local government and confirm that the information listed above is still good today. This information
should only be used as a tool to help you figure out what type of license you need to operate certain types of equipment.

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