Crane Certification Requirements

HigherGroundArborist

Well-Known Member
Location
Granger, IN
I’ve searched the forums and have not found a definitive answer. While I know if you’re operating a crane for tree work it is the best practice to be a certified crane operator. I have been told that if you are doing tree work with a crane that it is not an OSHA requirement to be a certified crane operator. Can anyone help clarify this for me and point to some documentation? Thanks.
 

climbhightree

Well-Known Member
Location
Lebanon, Pa USA
I agree that you don't need certification for tree work, but it gets really gray if you lift a stump grinder or even let your climber ride the ball. I say it is all tree work, part of a tree operation. Others say it isn't. Osha isn't clear on it, so it would probably be up to the inspector and courts.
 

allmark

Well-Known Member
In NewYork State you are required to have a Crane Operators Certificate of Competance even for tree work. Exception: If there is no hoist line(KBoom) you are not required to have one.
 

climbhightree

Well-Known Member
Location
Lebanon, Pa USA
When you lift equipment like a stump grinder you are now under the construction standard and required to be licensed.
Says who? ;-) Nothing I've seen is that clear. From what I recall, it says tree trimming and tree removal is excluded. It doesn't specify beyond that. If I'm lifting a stump grinder to remove a tree, then I feel it is excluded. In some ways it is the same as lifting a climber.

How is a stump grinder part of construction? It isn't being installed in or on a building etc.
 

climbhightree

Well-Known Member
Location
Lebanon, Pa USA
Plus there is this, directly from OSHA's crane and Derricks for construction regs.

"
When such equipment delivers materials by placing them on the ground without arranging them in a particular sequence for hoisting, the activity is not considered construction work and is not covered under the standard. This exclusion applies regardless of the type of material being delivered.
However, when the delivery equipment is used to transfer the materials onto a structure, the activity is considered construction work. Nevertheless, the activity is excluded from the standard if all of the following conditions are met"
 
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Dan Cobb

Well-Known Member
Location
Hoover
Be aware that OSHA can cite you under the General Duty Clause. With fatalities and serious injuries, they may well do that if no other standard is applicable. OSHA Compliance Officers have some pressure to generate revenue (i.e. levy fines) when they respond to an incident. Even if your crane operators are not subject to a requirement for recognized certification, having training documentation is a really good idea. Names, signatures, dates, hours and description of the training. Otherwise, you're pretty much naked if something goes south. Employees have "forgotten" or minimized the training they've received when they're trying to avoid being the culprit.
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
Says who? ;-) Nothing I've seen is that clear. From what I recall, it says tree trimming and tree removal is excluded. It doesn't specify beyond that. If I'm lifting a stump grinder to remove a tree, then I feel it is excluded. In some ways it is the same as lifting a climber.

How is a stump grinder part of construction? It isn't being installed in or on a building etc.
I'll find it but the stumper isn't considered materials. It's equipment. What you're referencing is specifically for knuckle booms and its OSHA 1926.1400(c)17(I) (iii) and below tells you where this exception doesn't apply. The exact tree exception is OSHA § 1926.1400(c)(13) The big question is the scope of tree removal. They don't necessarily know, when doing an inspection, if we fall into the logging standard or not. There is a long decision matrix that has to go to the home office for a final determination if its tree trimming or logging. Some of those factors take into account the number of trees, the locations, how it was accomplished, and a bunch of other crap. No where has listed stump grinding. I cant find it in the trenching and excavation standard. I know for dam sure i've read it. I will find it at some point but my contention is you are lifting a mechanized piece of equipment. You are no longer lifting material from the tree such as branches or trunk sections. Therefore it is no longer tree removal. The tree has been removed and the stump (although part of the tree) remains. I'll keep looking. I've sited the exact standard before but I just can remember where I found it.
 
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