propane bobtail truck

In 2010, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) finalized a rule that requires crane operators working in construction activities to get third-party certification every five years. The rule covers operators of cranes for propane tank deliveries. Significant opposition has repeatedly delayed the rule since 2010.

To allow the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) to make changes to the rule, OSHA has twice delayed the compliance data for third-party certification, with the current compliance deadline for the rule being November 10, 2018. The NPGA, however, is requesting a permanent exemption.

Why NGPA Opposes The Third-Party Certification Rule

NGPA believes that the new OSHA rule is burdensome and expensive. The association says that the rule is unnecessary since the industry already offers programs for crane safety training.

However, the biggest argument that NGPA puts forward is that propane tank delivery/retrieval should be exempt from the rule since it is not related to construction activities. Many propane businesses share the same sentiments. OSHA fails to realize the financial and operational burdens of applying the Crane rule to propane tank deliveries and retrievals.

The New OSHA rule negatively impacts the propane industry and there are no two ways about it. Cost estimates show members of NGPA will spend about $151 million in certification and training costs every 5 years. A bill: The Common-Sense Certification Reform Act has been introduced in the Senate to get propane tank delivery and retrieval operations exempted from OSHA’s crane regulation. The bill will exclude the propane industry from OSHA’s rule, saving millions of dollars.

About the Common-Sense Certification Reform Act

The purpose of the bill is to provide relief for crane operators from third party certification. This is tedious in cases where they are only delivering or retrieving propane containers. The Common-Sense Certification Reform Act says that the Administrator of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration shall not administer, enforce, or otherwise implement any regulation, policy, or interpretation of the Administration that requires an employee to obtain or receive certification to operate power-operated equipment described in section 1926.1400(a) of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, or any other regulation, for the delivery or retrieval of propane containers.

If we pass the bill, employers will certify crane operators performing propane tank deliveries and retrievals. This will save them millions of dollars that can be better utilized elsewhere.