WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has been recognized as an approved accreditor of crane operator certification programs by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor.
"ANSI is pleased to have earned OSHA's recognition as an accreditor of crane operator certification programs, which attests to the highest quality of the Institute's personnel certification accreditation program," said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. "This is just the latest example of how government agencies in key sectors rely upon ANSI accreditation as the most rigorous and comprehensive third-party verification of the competence of personnel certification bodies utilizing ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 - Conformity Assessment - General Requirements for bodies operating certification of persons."
Under the new OSHA rule to address the safety of cranes and derricks used in construction, all crane operator certification bodies must be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting entity. According to statistics issued by the Department of Labor, approximately 267,000 construction, crane rental, and crane certification establishments employing about 4.8 million workers will be affected.
In drafting the rule, OSHA weighed multiple options for the qualification of crane operators, including employer self-certification, certification by an accredited educational institution under existing Department of Education criteria, and certification by an accredited third-party personnel certification body. Comments were submitted and testimony offered from all perspectives, including from Roy Swift, Ph.D., ANSI senior program director, personnel credentialing accreditation programs. According to Dr. Swift's testimony, which was cited in the final rule (29 CFR Part 1926), "a personnel certification program is designed to address competency for job performance. The accreditation process for educational institutions does not include an assessment of an institution's ability to assess personnel competency... and the tests administered by an educational program are not held to the same psychometric standards as those administered by an accredited personnel certification program."
Ultimately, OSHA concluded that accredited third-party certification would provide the only reliable demonstration that a crane operator has the knowledge and skills needed for safe operation.
ANSI is the only personnel certification accreditation body in the United States to meet ISO/IEC 17011:2004, Conformity assessment - General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies, which represents the highest internationally accepted practices for accreditation bodies.
Since the inception of ANSI's fast-growing Personnel Certification Accreditation Program in 2003, the Institute has accredited 30 personnel certification bodies that represent more than 70 different credentials. In total, over 5.2 million professionals currently hold certifications from ANSI-accredited personnel credentialing bodies.
For more information on ANSI's accreditation services, visit www.ansi.org/accreditation.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.