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. Operators of cranes for propane tank deliveries are covered under the rule. Owing to significant opposition, the rule has been delayed repeatedly 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. However, the NPGA is requesting a permanent exemption.


Why NGPA is Opposed to The Third-Party Certification Rule
NGPA believes that the new OSHA rule requiring third-party certification every five years of crane operators is burdensome and expensive for employees delivering a propane tank to a location with construction activities. 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. What OSHA fails to realize is the significant 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. Conservative compliance cost estimates show that member companies 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. If the bill is passed, it 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 in cases in which 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 the bill is passed, it would ensure that employers certify crane operators performing propane tank deliveries and retrievals instead of being subjected to a costly regulation, saving them millions of dollars that can be better utilized elsewhere.