The licensing of hoisting machinery operators is covered under Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 146, Section 53. The regulation, 520 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) 6.00 associated with this law, requires all operators of hoisting machinery, including forklifts used in manufacturing, retail and warehouses, to complete an application and pass a test to obtain a license from the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety (DPS). The regulation applies to all hoisting machinery used on private or public property where the height of the lift exceeds 10 feet or the weight of the load exceeds 500 pounds. Section 53 (e) of the amended law added the following exemption to the licensing requirements for:
“A company which operates hoisting equipment specifically limited to industrial lift trucks, forklifts, overhead cranes and other hoisting equipment, specifically authorized by the department, and used exclusively on company property.”
The amendment states that the exemption will only apply if a company has:
(1) at least one supervisory employee on site at all times of operation that holds a license issued by the department under this section and is designated as the responsible person in charge of hoisting equipment during that period of operation
(2) an in-service training program for employees approved by the department which may be audited by the department
(3) company licenses issued to each trained and certified employee which shall contain a picture of the licensee, a list of the specific hoisting equipment the licensee has been qualified to operate, and the signature of the supervisor who holds a department license.
How does it affect companies?
The DPS is proposing a change to the regulations to match the added exemption to Section 53(e) of the law. A company seeking to comply with the hoisting license requirements and exemption must first designate a supervisory employee(s) to be responsible for the operation of hoisting equipment. The supervisory employee(s) must then obtain a Class 1C hoisting license from the DPS. After the designated employee(s) receives a license from the DPS, the company must then provide the DPS with a copy of its complete training program used to train employees to operate forklifts. The company must provide DPS with the complete training program, not just a description or outline.
After the DPS approves the company’s training program, the supervisor(s) who have been issued a Class 1C hoisting license then need to train employees in accordance with the approved program. Authorized operators would then be issued a license that includes a picture, a list of the specific equipment that the employee is qualified to operate, and the signature of the supervisor who holds the Class 1C license and conducted the training and evaluation. Employees can only be trained and certified to operate the specific equipment for which the supervisory employee holds a license issued by the DPS. At all times of operation, there must be a supervisory employee on-site who holds a license. A public hearing on the proposed changes to the regulations will be held on December 3, 2012.
Potential fines for noncompliance
In addition to above, the DPS drafted a new regulation, 520 CMR 1.00, that establishes standards for issuing monetary fines for violations of certain statutes and regulations. The DPS is now authorized, under MGL Chapter 22, Section 21, to assess fines of up $5,000 for violations of certain statutes and regulations, including hoisting. The DPS will hold a public hearing on 520 CMR 1.00 on November 28, 2012. For more information, contact Colleen Walsh at 508.970.0033 extension 129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.