The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has exempted monorail hoists from its crane operator certification rule. The exemption means that precast manufacturers who use monorail hoists, also referred to as A-frame cranes, will not be required to certify operators of those vehicles.
OSHA issued the memo to its regional and state offices on June 30, stating that “as a number of stakeholders have pointed out, the standard is not a perfect fit for monorail hoists, and OSHA intends to consider rulemaking options to address this issue.”
NPCA has been among the most active stakeholders in working with OSHA to achieve the exemption for the industry, said Greg Stratis, NPCA chairman of the Board and president of Shea Concrete Products. “We have been communicating regularly with OSHA for years on this issue,” Stratis said. “As a member of NPCA’s crane task force several years ago, I know how much work has gone into this and how important it is for the industry.”
NPCA’s work on the exemption goes back to 2010, Stratis said. That’s when OSHA exempted burial vault deliveries from the crane operator certification rule. “These monorail hoists are essentially the same vehicles that deliver burial vaults, so it makes sense to us that they should also be exempt,” Stratis said. “This is a rule that impacts many precasters because this type of hoist is quite common in our industry.”
The OSHA memorandum states that employers must still meet training and operation compliance standards for overhead hoists and must comply with all OSHA requirements that are applicable to the vehicle, equipment and structure. As long as those compliance standards are followed, OSHA will consider the employer in compliance.
Rich Krolewski, NPCA director or certification and regulatory services, has led NPCA’s effort in achieving the exemption, Stratis said. “Rich has been a persistent advocate for precasters in talking with OSHA about this issue,” Stratis said. “NPCA’s long-term relationships with OSHA administrators helped a great deal in getting this exemption.”
Crane operators will still need to be certified to operate other cranes that have a lifting capacity of 2,000 pounds or more. For the latest information on OSHA’s crane operator certification rulemaking, please visit precast.org/cranes.