(1) Except for training purposes as provided in subsection (3) of this section, an employer or contractor shall not permit a crane operator to operate a crane unless the crane operator is a qualified crane operator.
(2) The department shall establish, by rule, requirements that must be met to be considered a qualified crane operator. In establishing rules, the department shall consult nationally recognized crane standards for crane operator certification. The rules must include, at a minimum, the following:
(a) The crane operator must have a valid crane operator certificate, for the type of crane to be operated, issued by a crane operator testing organization accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency which administers written and practical examinations, has procedures for recertification that enable the crane operator to recertify at least every five years, and is recognized by the department;
(b) The crane operator must have up to two thousand hours of documented crane operator experience, which meets experience levels established by the department for crane types and capacities by rule; and
(c) The crane operator must pass a substance abuse test conducted by a recognized laboratory service.
(3) An apprentice operator or trainee may operate a crane when:
(a) The apprentice operator or trainee has been provided with training prior to operating the crane that enables the apprentice operator or trainee to operate the crane safely;
(b) The apprentice operator or trainee performs operating tasks that are within his or her ability, as determined by the supervising qualified crane operator; and
(c) The apprentice operator or trainee is under the direct and continuous supervision of a qualified crane operator who meets the following requirements:
(i) The qualified crane operator is an employee or agent of the employer of the apprentice operator or trainee;
(ii) The qualified crane operator is familiar with the proper use of the crane's controls;
(iii) While supervising the apprentice operator or trainee, the qualified crane operator performs no tasks that detract from the qualified crane operator's ability to supervise the apprentice operator or trainee;
(iv) For equipment other than tower cranes, the qualified crane operator and the apprentice operator or trainee must be in direct line of sight of each other and shall communicate verbally or by hand signals; and
(v) For tower cranes, the qualified crane operator and the apprentice operator or trainee must be in direct communication with each other.
(4) The department may recognize crane operator certification from another state or territory of the United States as equivalent to qualified crane operator requirements if the department determines that the other jurisdiction's credentialing standards are substantially similar to the qualified crane operator requirements.
Intent—Effective date—2007 c 27:
See notes following RCW 49.17.400