Crane Certification Rules Apply to YOU (Most Likely)

By Mandi Kime AGC Safety Director

New crane certification rules take effect in less than a month – and it looks like only a fraction of construction cranes have been certified!

During the promulgation of the new crane safety standards for Washington the Department of Labor and Industries estimated that there were roughly 7000- 10000 construction cranes in this state. However no more than 600 cranes have been certified.

This means that either there are far fewer cranes in the state than we thought or people don’t realize that this rule applies to them. Assuming that many folks may not believe or realize this rule applies to them we are providing the list below of some pieces of equipment that ARE COVERED by the rule – although some people might not realize it:

  • Lifting devices mounted to the backs of pickups and larger trucks (with a capacity over ONE ton and power rotated)
  • Articulating cranes (think drywall delivery trucks) or other lifting devices that have articulating booms
  • Boom trucks
  • Tower cranes (only 20 are certified so far we know from the Seattle and Bellevue skylines alone that there are more than this… and they are SUPER easy to find)
  • Mobile cranes (lattice boom and telescopic)
  • Overhead cranes on construction jobsites
  • Derricks
  • ANY crane on a construction jobsite or performing construction activities.

Please know that even if you don’t own or operate a crane the new rules may apply to you. If you have one of the pieces of equipment covered by the rules on your jobsite YOU can be cited if the proper certification has not been obtained.

This rule requires Operator qualifications (documented hours of experience and NCCCO or equivalent) Crane Certification (by a 3rd party state authorized certifier) and Proof Load Testing (with certifier present).

The state has hired designated staff to enforce compliance with this standard and they will begin enforcing these rules soon. The phase-in period has lapsed and as of January 1 the State will require you to be in full compliance with this rule.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact me (Mandi Kime) for more guidance on whether a piece of equipment is or is not covered and what you need to do NOW to comply.

There is limited time especially for documentation of employee hours. The department will accept previous hours of experience for crane operators but said experience must be documented on an affidavit PRIOR to January 1 2010 to be counted. If an operator does not have the requisite hours of experience prior to that date the rules require said operator to be supervised by a qualified operator. So you will be paying TWO operators for the work of ONE. (OUCH!)

AGC has a great logbook that was approved by L&I for documentation of hours after the affidavit is complete. The log books were designed by AGC approved by L&I and free to AGC members ($10 for non members).

AGC can help and there is still a little time but act now before there are fines involved! Call Mandi at 206-812-4863 or via email mkime@agcwa.com.

For a copy of the affidavit form: click here

For more on the rules: https://www.agcwa.com/SafetyPrograms/